Orecchiete with broccoli rabe and chile pepper


by: Walter

Broccoli rabe is in season from around September to January, it forms little florets like broccoli in October — which is the time to use it, otherwise the leaves are a little too bitter and fibrous. The florets have a sweet flavor and a texture that also makes the sauce creamier. At other times of the year, though, or if you can't find broccoli rabe, use broccoli instead. Cut off the florets, leaving a couple of inches of stalk, and blanch them, then chop and saute them in the same way as for the broccoli rabe in the recipe. You can use the water you blanched them in to cook the pasta afterward (don't do this if you are using the broccoli rabe, though, as they will make the water bitter and this will flavor the pasta). Remember that the ohiles you need for this recipe should be quite long, and not very hot — we are not talking about Thai food here. (lf you like a little extra heat, though, you can leave in the seeds.)


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serves: 4

3 small bunches of broccoli rabe tops (cime di rapa)

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)

2 medium red chiles (deseeded, leave the seeds in if you want more heat and thinly sliced)

14 ounces dried orecchiette

2 anchovy fillets

salt and pepper

Nutrition Facts
Orecchiete with broccoli rabe and chile pepper

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 556

  • Total Fat: 19.6 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 1.5 mg
  • Sodium: 51.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 88.4 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 14.6 g
  •     Sugars: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 11.9 g

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1.  Take the leaves and florets of the broccoli rabe from their stalks and blanch them in boiling salted water for about a minute, just to take away some of their bitterness. Drain and squeeze to remove the excess water. Chop very line.

2.  Warm half the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the garlic and chiles, and gently cook them without allowing them to color (don't let the garlic burn er it will taste hitter). Then add the broccoli rabe and toss around. Add another tablespoon of olive oil.

3.  Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to a boil, salt it, put in the orecchiette and cook for about a minute less than the time suggested on the package until al dente.

4.  While the pasta is cooking, ladle out a little of the cooking water and add to the pan containing the broccoli rabe. Then turn clown the heat and add the anchovies as well. Let them dissolve without frying them, stirring all the time. Taste and season if necessary — remember that the anchovies will add their own saltiness.

5.  When tho pasta is cooked, drain, reserving the cooking water and add the pasta to the pan containing the sauce. Toss for 2 to 3 minutes, so the turnip tops cook and begin to cling to the pasta.

6.  Add the rest of the olive oil, toss well to coat and serve.

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