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Playing Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (Garlic and Oil) with Broccoli Rabe, Preserved Lemon and Breadcrumbs


  • 1 1/2 cups coarse, homemade breadcrumbs from Italian or white bread
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed of tough ends
  • 1/2 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 anchovy filets
  • 6 large cloves garlic, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes or a spoonful of Calabrian chili paste
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped preserved lemon plus a splash of brine
  • 1 cup loosely packed freshly grated Pecorino cheese (optional)


Serves: 4 to 6 servings


Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss breadcrumbs with melted butter then spread on a baking sheet. Toast breadcrumbs to deep golden. Cool and toss with parsley.

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

Meanwhile, bring a few inches of water to a boil in a deep-sided skillet. Salt water and blanch broccoli rabe 4-5 minutes. Cool and chop into 1-inch pieces.

In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, heat EVOO, 6 slow turns of the pan. Add anchovies and melt them into oil; add garlic and chili flakes. Stir a minute or two then add dry vermouth. Reduce heat to low.

Cook pasta to 1 minute less than directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy cooking water before draining.

Add broccoli rabe to sauce along with preserved lemon and brine.

Toss pasta with sauce and reserved starchy water. Top with breadcrumbs and cheese, if using.