FUSILLI WITH BROCCOLI RABE

FUSILLI WITH BROCCOLI RABE (for four)

pasta-fusilli-with-broccoli-rabe-1 pasta-fusilli-with-broccoli-rabe-2

2 bunches broccoli rabe (about 1 pound each), ends and yellow or coarse leaves trimmed off and discarded, florets reserved and stems  cut cross-wise into 1-inch pieces and reserved

1 pound fusilli or rotini

1/3 cup olive oil

6 tablespoons pine nuts

8 cloves garlic, sliced (more if you’re a garlic fan and don’t have a hot date)

¾ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

zest (finely minced) and juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

finely grated Parmesan cheese to accompany


  1. Bring your pasta water to a boil and salt it. Using the vegetable steamer insert for the pot, steam the broccoli rabe until the stems are tender, about 4 minutes.  Remove and pat it dry with paper towels.
  1. Keep the pot boiling and, using the pasta insert, cook the pasta until al dente (about 10 minutes for Barilla. If you are using another brand of dried pasta, follow instructions on box).
  1. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.   Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute.  Add the broccoli rabe, turn heat to moderately high and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  1. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup or so of the cooking liquid, and add the pasta to the broccoli rabe, along with the lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine and add the reserved pasta cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry.  Serve immediately, accompanied by the cheese.

 

adapted from The New York Times Magazine, March 20, 1994

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