April 11, 2012

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Kalamata Olives

This olive oil coated pasta with bitter greens and salty olives is an easy, hearty dish that I’ve made for at least ten years after a family friend made it for us on a spring afternoon.  It’s wonderfully filling and must be enjoyed with a big glass of wine. I hope you enjoy one of my long time favorites!


 Makes 2 servings

1 bunch broccoli rabe, washed, stems removed and discarded 
1 cup dried orrecchiete
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, smashed
7 pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking wate

1.  Boil broccoli rabe in a salted pot of boiling water for 3 minutes (water should be as salty as chicken soup).  Saving the water, transfer broccoli rabe to a colander to drain.  

2.  Allow the water in the pot to return to a boil, then add the pasta, cooking for the time stated on the package.

3.  Roughly chop the broccoli rabe.  Add olive oil and garlic cloves to a saute pan over medium/low heat, making sure the garlic doesn't brown or burn, cooking until garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes.  Add the broccoli rabe, olives, salt and red pepper flakes to the pan, sauteing for 2 minutes.  Add in the pasta cooking water and cook for 2 more minute.

4.  Add cooked, drained pasta to the broccoli rabe, tossing to coat for 1 more minute.  Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil and toss again, discarding garlic pieces.  Serve pasta immediately.

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