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Author Notes: I created this recipe in an effort to make sardines more appealing. Since they're used often in Sicilian cuisine, I made a Sicilian inspired dish, with bold broccoli rabe. Wine-soaked sweet raisins and zesty lemon temper the more robust sardines and broccoli rabe, making a well-balanced pasta that will tempt even the sardine-averse. —Food Blogga
Serves 2 main or 4 side dishes
- 1 medium bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), stems removed
- 3 tablespoons raisins (soaked in white wine)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 (3.75 -ounce) cans sardines in olive oil
- 2 tablespoons halved Kalamata olives
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice, preferably sweeter Meyer lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 8 ounces rigatoni
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Boil broccoli rabe for 1 ½-2 minutes; remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Shocking the rabe will maintain its vivid green color and stop it from cooking. Using the same pan, bring the water to a boil again, and add the pasta. Cook until al dente.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with some dry white wine. Let them soak about 10 minutes to become infused with the flavor of the wine.
- In a small, dry skillet over medium heat add the pine nuts and breadcrumbs. Shake pan in a back-and-forth motion until they are are golden and aromatic, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic and shallots, sauteing 2-3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Drain the broccoli rabe, pat dry, and add to the skillet.
- Drain the sardines. Using a fork, break sardines into small pieces and add to the skillet. Add the drained raisins, olives, lemon juice, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and salt. Sauté 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
- Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the broccoli rabe mixture. Add toasted bread crumb mixture and fresh parsley and toss. Drizzle with quality extra virgin olive oil before serving.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Broccoli/Broccoli Rabe Dish
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