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Author Notes: Fresh from living in Italy, I posted a recipe a year ago from a local grocer that I called the Puglia Lady's orecchiette and rabe. It was impossible to mess up there -- simple, healthy and tasty. Somehow it fell short here. Not enough flavor, not enough greens. The problem, I think, is the that 'the rabe here -- and I have been limited to supermarket stuff -- doesn't have the same big bitter taste. This is my attempt to make it right, informed slightly by a trip to Florence where I ordered it in a sort of fancy restaurant. —fisheri
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
half cup chicken stock
tablespoon red wine vinegar
pound quality orecchiette
good parmeggiano cheese
- Remove most of the stems from rabe. Cut greens into 2 or 3 inch pieces. Boil and salt water. Blanche the greens for five minutes or so. Drain and set aside.
- Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and anchovies, along with a good pinch of pepperonchino. Saute three minutes or so, until anchovies are dissolved.
- Add rabe, stir and saute about 5 minutes so it soaks up the oil. Add a bit of salt. Add chicken broth and vinegar and saute, stirring as needed, till the rabe is tender but by no means mushy. There should be a bit of tasty liquid but not too much.
- Boil orecchiete in salted water, watching like a hawk that it doesn't overcook. I recently bought very good orecchiette that was ready three minutes before the recommended cooking time. Drain pasta when done.
- Combine pasta and rabe over medium heat for a minute or two. Check for salt. A bit of oil will not hurt.
- Serve with generous grating of parmeggiano, a drizzle of oil, black pepper and a little fine sea salt.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!