This pasta recipe will have you feeling like you are in Italy

By dani2011dhs@gmail.comApril 13, 2023No Comments

This pasta recipe will have you feeling like you are in Italy

By Rachael Lindle

Chef Luciano Salvadore began cooking at the age of 13 at a restaurant in his hometown of Vicenza, Italy. What began as a job manning the grill soon became Salvadore’s passion and eventually led him to culinary school.

He partnered with his mentor and opened several restaurants, but ultimately, Salvadore’s culinary talents took him to Washington, D.C., and later to North Texas. In 2013, Salvadore, as chef and owner, opened Calabrese. It has grown rapidly, but high-quality food remains of the utmost importance.

“We import a lot of ingredients to make sure we’re preparing the best, most authentic food,” Salvadore says. “For example, we bring in two variations of flours from Italy: one for pasta, one for pizza. It’s more expensive, but it’s worth it. At the end of the day, you have a better product.”

Chef Luciano Salvadore offers up lunch, brunch and dinner from his perch at Southlake Town Square, 1281 E. Texas 114, Southlake, 817-251-8798, calabresetx.com Photo by Olaf Growald

Salvadore’s attention to detail brings us Orecchiette alla Calabrese. This simple pasta is a Puglian staple. The lightness of the sauce and zing of the — you guessed it, imported — Calabrian peppers perfectly complement the herbaceous flavors of the broccolini, making it ideal for a spring meal alfresco.


  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
  • 4 teaspoons slivered garlic
  • 6 large eggs
  • 12 ounces sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces blanched broccolini florets, cut into small pieces
  • 2 ounces Calabrian peppers/chile peppers
  • 8 ounces marinara sauce (see recipe)
  • 6 tablespoons basil chiffonade
  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 4 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat a saucepan and add 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with the slivered garlic, sausage, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes or until sausage is crispy. Add the broccolini and peppers and stir to combine. Then add marinara sauce and basil to the pan.

Add the orecchiette pasta to boiling water until it’s cooked al dente, then drain well. Add pasta to the saucepan with other ingredients, mix well and stir in remaining 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

Place pasta in a bowl and top with cheese.

Marinara Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced white onions
  • 6 or 8 fresh Roma tomatoes in chunks; you can also use canned if preferred
  • 6 ounces tomato puree
  • 2 cups water
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 generous pinch parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a stockpot with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Once warm, add the garlic and onions and cook until translucent. Add Roma tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir until combined, then add water. Lower heat and add basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to cook down and thicken.

Rachael Lindley is a North Texas journalist and contributor to 360West.