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Playing Linguini with Rabe and Parsley Pesto


  • 1 large bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2- to 3-inch lengths
  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small red chili pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced, divided
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 to 4 anchovy filets, drained (if in oil) or rinsed (if in salt) and chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pound linguine


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

In a large, deep skillet, bring about 1 1/2 to 2 inches water to a boil. Salt water and par-boil the rabe to cook out the bitterness, about 5 minutes. Drain and return pan to heat. Heat about 3 tablespoons oil, 3 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add onions, chili and half the garlic, and saut to tender. Add rabe and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and reduce heat to low simmer.

Add parsley, remaining garlic, pine nuts, anchovies, lemon zest and juice, black pepper, paprika and about 1/4 cup EVOO to a food processor. Pulse into a pesto sauce and adjust salt to taste. Transfer sauce to large shallow bowl.

Cook pasta to al dente. Add about a cup of hot starchy cooking water to the pesto and stir. Drain linguine and add to sauce along with the rabe. Toss the pasta and sauce vigorously for 1-2 minutes to evenly coat pasta and to distribute the rabe.