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Author Notes: This pasta has become a staple in our house because it's incredibly flavorful and so versatile. You can eat it hot or at room temperature, it can be made ahead of time, and it's always the first thing to go on the table. I originally created this recipe when I had a wisdom tooth pulled and was sick of liquids. The orzo is small, and the pesto is fiber-filled and nutritious, so it's probably great for kids (and unfortunate adults enduring dental pain). If the broccoli rabe is too bitter for your taste, it would be equally good with regular broccoli or even artichokes. —Meatballs&Milkshakes
- 1 box orzo, about 2 cups
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped into medium dice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Cook the orzo in heavily salted water according to package instructions. Meanwhile, saute the broccoli rabe, onion, and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the broccoli rabe is tender, but not falling apart.
- Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor. Add the broccoli rabe mixture along with the olive oil, and blend until smooth. Add the parmesan and combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- In a bowl, toss the cooked orzo and pesto. You can add some pasta cooking water if it’s too thick. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.