Genoa salami, sliced 1/4 inch thick and cut into 3/4-inch dice
jalapeños, finely chopped (seeded if you want less heat)
large garlic cloves, finely chopped
heaping tablespoon tomato paste
For the pasta
1 to 1 1/2 pounds
large bunch (1 to 1 1/4 pounds) broccoli rabe
cavatappi, rotini, or fusilli
pine nuts, toasted
1 to 1 1/2 cups
shredded Stella Fontinella, Asiago, or young sheep cheese
In This Recipe
Bring 8 quarts salted water to a boil in a 10-quart pot.
Peel the broccoli stalks, and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices. Quarter the florets. Trim the broccoli rabe stems to within an inch of where the leaves begin. Pile up the stalks and slice them into 1/4-inch pieces.
Generously film the bottom of a straight-sided 12-inch sauté pan with olive oil, and set it over high heat. Add the onion and generous sprinkles of salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is golden brown, stirring often. Halfway through the sauté add the salami and jalapeños. Once the onions are browned, blend in the garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the water and boil it down to nothing as you use a wooden spatula to scrape up everything from the bottom of the pan. Repeat with the remaining 1/2 cup water. Once it is boiled off, stir in the raisins and pull the pan off the heat. Cover and set aside.
Drop the pasta into the boiling water. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Stir in the two broccolis and boil until the pasta is just tender. Scoop 1/2 cup of the pasta water out of the pot and set it aside. Immediately drain the pasta and vegetables in a colander.
Reheat the onion sauté over medium-high heat. Blend in the reserved pasta water, and add the pasta and vegetables and the pine nuts. Toss over the heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is lightly coated with the moistened sauté. Taste the pasta for seasoning. Turn it into a serving bowl. Pass the cheese separately.