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rapini pasta

 

Rapini (or brocoli raab) is like the bitter version of brocoli. Some say it’s an acquired taste. I love it. I’ve always loved it.

I will always remember the best pizza I ever ate at Delfina Pizzeria, in San Francisco last summer. It was brocoli raab pizza with olives, mozzarella and hot peppers. Yum. This pasta dish (almost) comes in competition with aforementioned pizza.

 

rapini

 

1 bunch rapini (brocoli raab), trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces 
4-5 cloves garlic
5 sun-dried tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons dried chili flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Freshly shaved parmesan
Roasted hazelnuts (optional)
Whole wheat pasta (I used spagettini)
1/4 cup pasta water

 

Boil water in a large saucepan. Cook pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions.

While the water in boiling, trim base of rapini stalks. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add whole garlic cloves and sauté for a about 5 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and optional chili flakes. When garlic cloves begin to brown lower heat just to keep the skillet warm.

In the mean time, blanch the rapini in the pasta water for 4 or 5 minutes. Add blanched rapini to the warm skillet, increase heat to medium and sauté for about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Add pasta and pasta water to skillet. Increase heat to medium high, sauté and mix well, for about 2 minutes. Smash the garlic cloves directly in the skillet with the back of a spoon.

Serve immediately, top with freshly shaved parmesan and roasted hazelnuts.

 

Serves 4

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