Photo: Luca Mascia

Chef Andrea Belfiore Shares Homemade Pasta Recipe

One doesn’t have to ride a Vespa down the winding streets of Rome to enjoy the Italian way of living – not when there is Italia Like Locals, a virtual hands-on “cooking class with a twist” platform. The brainchild of charismatic chef/musician Andrea Belfiore, who had an AHA! moment in the winter of 2017 – during a snowstorm – when he found himself stuck at home for 3 days straight with two of his Italian friends. They cooked up an Italian storm: gnocchi, tagliatelle, lasagne, ravioli, risotto, polenta, tiramisu and more goodies. That’s when the thought formed: “That’s it, I’m going to teach people how to make delicious Italian food!” And it grew from there.

Currently, these classes have been enjoyed by more than 1,000 people from companies such as LinkedIn, WeWork, SquareSpace, Google, Tiffany & Co and the like. Chef Andrea has entertained them with his cooking prowess at virtual holidays parties and team building events. Now, these classes, once reserved for corporate clients, are available to the public, with a new interactive, educational, fun, themed class each month. 

All lessons are live streamed from Chef Andrea’s kitchen, and include a special guest, ranging from musicians, artists, to fire dancers! I would love for you to consider a profile on Andrea, who pivoted before the word was associated with people shifting careers due to the pandemic. As a musician he toured with the band The Last Internationale opening for Tom Morello (Founder of Rage Against The Machine) and with pop artist Edo Ferragamo, as well as recording and touring all across the world with multiple bands. His energy is contagious, and people keep returning for more of Andrea. 

Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe
By Chef Andrea Belfiore
500 gr wheat durum semolina (we recommend Molino Grassi) 250 gr warm water
Pinch of salt
Medium size bowl
Working surface (kitchen counter, table…) Butter knife
● Place the flour into the bowl.
● Add a pinch of salt.
● Add half of the water and start mixing using your hands. Have the semolina absorb all of the
● Keep adding the rest of the water slowly. The goal is to form a ball of dough that is elastic, easy
to work but not sticky. Think of playdough!
● Now knead the dough on your working surface for a few minutes using your palms. The dough
will get smoother and elastic. Let it rest wrapped in plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
Forming the ORECCHIETTE:
● Cut the dough in 4 parts
● Work one piece at the time keeping the others wrapped.
● Roll the dough into a snake that is thin like your pinky finger.
● Cut into squares.
● Place a butter knife on top of the square at a 45-degree angle to your working surface, then
press and roll the piece of dough towards you. When you reach the end of the piece of dough,
stop and unfold it over your thumb in the opposite direction forming a concave shape.
● Transfer the orecchiette into a baking sheet sprinkled with semolina.

THE SAUCE (for 4 portions)
400 gr /0.9 lb Orecchiette 1.5 kg/3.3 lb Broccoli Rabe 2-4 Anchovies
2 Garlic cloves
1 Peperoncino
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt & Pepper
Large pan
Large pot
Cutting board + chef knife

  1. Broccoli Rabe
    Rinse the broccoli rabe under cold water. Discard about 1 inch of the stems. Bring to boil a pot 3⁄4 full of water.
  2. Soffritto
    Crush the garlic, cut the peperoncino in a half and slowly fry them in the pan with a GENEROUS amount of extra virgin olive oil and 2-4 anchovies. Let the anchovies melt and brown the garlic. At the same time…
  3. Andiamo!
    Salt the water, salty like the Adriatic Sea. Add the orecchiette and the broccoli rabe at the same time. Transfer them into the pan 1 minute before al dente, add a couple of ladles of cooking water. Feel free to add some extra olive oil if needed too.
  4. Saltare la pasta
    Toss and stir so that the pasta absorbs the cooking water and blends with the rest of the ingredients giving a creamy result.
  5. Plate it
    In a bowl kind of plate add the pasta and if you want a few toasted bread crumbs (see video recipe). This recipe doesn’t call for parmigiano reggiano or any other cheese but we live in a free country! So go ahead! Shhhh!
  6. MANGIA!
Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure!

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