Monday, September 17, 2012

Pasta with tomato and broccoli rabe sauce

If you like bitter greens (mesclun, arugula, rocket, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) you'll love broccoli rabe! I expected broccoli rabe to taste like broccoli, but it doesn't at all. It's quite bitter, but it doesn't have a peppery flavor like arugula or rocket. I made pasta with broccoli rabe and tomatoes (adapted from this recipe). The sweetness of fresh tomatoes balances the bitterness of the rabe.

Pasta with tomato and broccoli rabe sauce
Servings: 4

Total time: 30 minutes

1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 bunch of broccoli rabe, chopped
2 tsp anchovy paste (if you don't like anchovies, I promise you won't taste this- it just adds a nice salty flavor)
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped basil
Splash of lemon juice
1 1/2 cups of romano (or parmesan) cheese
Pasta of your choice

Start a pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. Meanwhile, quickly saute the garlic in olive oil in a saucepan until fragrant.  Add crushed red pepper and saute for another 30 seconds. Add the broccoli rabe and anchovy paste and blanch the rabe until it is bright green, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, bring everything to a boil, then turn heat to low to let the some of the liquid cook off. Cook pasta in boiling water, drain and return to pot. Pour sauce over the pasta. Mix in the basil, lemon juice and 1 cup of cheese. Serve with remaining cheese sprinkled on top.

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