Celebrity Chefs Gordon Ramsay

Orecchiette with Kale and Pine Nuts

This is one of Gordon’s best easy recipes similar with kale instead of broccoli, and the meatballs replacing the anchovy and chilli. Orecchiette means ‘little ears’

This is one of Gordons best easy recipes. Its made with kale instead of broccoli alon with meatballs replacing the anchovy and chilli. Orecchiette mean ‘little ears’, and refers to the ear-shaped pasta traditionally used in a Puglian dish of broccoli, anchovy and chilli. A tip By Gordon isWhen sweating vegetables you like to soften them without losing color. Start by heating a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Bring water to boil, add a little oil and your vegetable, and Try stirring frequently, for 5– 10 minutes. It is important that the veg do not brown or it will develop a bitter flavor.

Orecchiette with Kale and Pine Nuts


  • 500g dried orecchiette pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 200g kale or cavolo Nero, shredded
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 500g minced beef
  • 75g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3–4 tbsp milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. First prepare the meatballs. Sauté the onion and garlic with seasoning in a hot oiled frying pan for about 5 minutes until soft and lightly colored, adding the chilli flakes after a minute or two. Place the mince in a large bowl and add seasoning. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and moisten with the milk. Add seasoning, then stir the breadcrumbs and onion mixture into the mince and combine well. With wet hands, shape the mince mixture into small balls about 2cm wide. Transfer to a lightly greased plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until firm.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, according to packet instructions.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. Brown the meatballs for 6 minutes until colored on all sides. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until tender, then add the kale and season. Sweat the kale over a medium heat for 5 minutes with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water from the pasta. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary, then stir in the pine nuts.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of cooking water. Tip the pasta into the pan with the meatballs and stir over a medium-low heat until well mixed. Add a good handful of finely grated Parmesan, and mix well with a little cooking water to help coat the pasta. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  5. Serve garnished with another grating of Parmesan.



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