Pasta With Spicy Broccoli Rabe and Raisins

The farmer who sold me a huge bunch of broccoli rabe at the Greenmarket knew only one way to cook it — sauté it using lots and lots of oil. No thanks! I found this recipe in SOAR: Searchable Online Archive of Recipes (which has since changed its name to RecipeSource). It is delicious, sweet, spicy, filling and fast. I think it would be just as good with any other strongly flavored, leafy, dark green vegetable. Try using spinach or collard greens instead of the broccoli rabe.

2 bunches broccoli rabe (1 lbs. each) ends stripped off and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb. penne, ziti or other pasta
4 teaspoons olive oil or chicken or vegetable stock
6 Tablespoons raisins
8 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
4 Tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the broccoli and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and pat dry. Bring another large pot of salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil or stock in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the raisins and cook, tossing frequently, until lightly “toasted.” Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, the water and the red pepper and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).

Drain the pasta and add the broccoli, the remaining oil or stock, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Yield: 4 servings

NOTE: The recipe posted on SOAR was adapted from an article by Molly O’Neill in the New York Times Magazine, March 20 1994.


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