Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pasta Sicilian Style with Broccoli Rabe

(I know you don't see any pasta, but we're doing the South Beach Diet, and I'm using the "sauce" as a side for grilled steak)

Pasta Sicilian Style with Broccoli Rabe

Prep time: 15 minutes (mostly for boiling water for pasta)
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

8oz/226g spaghetti (we used whole wheat, because we’re on the South Beach Diet)
1 large bunch broccoli rabe
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 anchovies, mashed
Red chili pepper flakes – as much as you’re comfortable with
Asiago cheese, coarsely grated, again – as much as you prefer. I just like a little sprinkling of each
Extra olive oil for tossing.

1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (8-10 minutes depending on the type of pasta). Drain and set aside.

2. In the meantime, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli rabe (means cook until the water returns to a boil and the greens get really green – 1-2 minutes).

3. Drain the broccoli rabe, and soak for a couple of minutes in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.

When you add the pasta to the pasta pot, prepare the final touches to the broccoli rabe.

4. In the same pot you blanched the broccoli, heat some olive oil with the garlic, chili pepper flakes and anchovies and cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat, just until you smell the fragrance. Add the broccoli rabe to the pot and toss to heat. Take off the stove and coarsely chop the broccoli.

6. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Add the broccoli rabe mixture and taste for seasoning. The broccoli rabe is more bitter than regular broccoli so you might want to add a pinch of sugar to temper it. Add some Asiago cheese and possibly more olive oil and chili pepper flakes.

Serve with a simple green salad.

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