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Broccoli Rabe Farfalle

Serves 4

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INGREDIENTS
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed 
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 4 to 6 flat filets anchovies 
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and sliced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced 
  • 1 sweet red pepper (bell, cherry or frying), seeded and sliced 
  • 2 small red chilies, seeded and sliced 
  • Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock 
  • 1 pound farfalle 
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickled Italian cherry peppers and a splash of the brine, optional
  • Grated Pecorino cheese 
PREPARATION

Trim woody ends and cut broccoli rabe into 2-inch pieces; halve thick stems lengthwise.  Bring a large pot with a few inches of water to a rolling boil. Season with salt and add rapini. Par-boil 2-3 minutes to cook out the bitterness then cold shock in icy cold water; drain well. Fill pot back up with water for the pasta and return to stove to bring to boil.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt anchovies into oil. Stir in onions, garlic, sweet peppers and chilies, and stir 3-4 minutes to soften. Add chopped rapini and season with salt to taste and a little nutmeg. Add stock and reduce heat to keep warm.
Season pasta water with salt; add pasta and cook to al dente. Add a ladle of starchy water to broccoli rabe and drain pasta. Toss with rapini and adjust seasoning. Add pickled peppers, if using, and a splash of brine. Top with Pecorino and serve. 

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