CENA STASERA… Rotini with Broccoli Rabe

by valentinalucia

Broccoli rabe is a newfound interest of mine. I used to avoid leafy greens like the plague, but now I cannot get enough of them. Broccoli rabe is used traditionally in lots of Italian cooking and is valued for its unique, bitter flavor. In this recipe, Rotini with Broccoli Rabe, I prepared the greens in the most traditional way possible. It’s a very simple method, but one of the most flavorful ways to cook broccoli rabe – sauteed in a little bit of olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes. There’s something about the combination of the garlic’s punch, the heat of the pepper flakes and the bitterness of the broccoli rabe that allow all the ingredients to tie together nicely to form a sensation in your mouth!

I was a little daring this time and added a few more ingredients. I toasted some pine nuts before sauteing the greens and pulled out some raisins from the cabinet. The toasted pine nuts give the dish an extra texture and subtle nutty flavor, while the sweetness from the raisins compliments the broccoli rabe bitterness nicely. Make no mistake though, the bitter broccoli is the star of the dish, with all the other flavors acting as background vocals to compliment and complete the symphony šŸ™‚

Rotini with Broccoli Rabe (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

1/2 box Barilla Whole-Wheat Rotini

12-16 ounces broccoli rabe, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic

1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons pine nuts

salt

Preparations:

1. Prepare rotini as directed on box.

2. Toast pine nuts in pan until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Remove nuts from pan and set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in pan. Toss in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is golden, about 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and toss to coat. Cook until broccoli rabe is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Fold in pine nuts and raisins about a minute before removing from pan. Season with salt to taste.

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