Broccoli rabe is the more subtly flavored and elegant relative of broccoli, and since it is available almost year-round, this is a recipe to keep on hand at all times. The anchovies and red pepper flakes give the dish complexity, but we understand if you shy away from using them.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 15 mins
- 1 pound broccoli rabe
- 1 pound pasta, such as orecchiette, cavatelli, gemelli, or malloreddus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 7 oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and thinly sliced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch broccoli rabe by placing it in the boiling salted water for 2 minutes.
- Drain broccoli rabe and cool it in an ice water bath. Once cool, drain broccoli rabe and shake to remove excess water. Chop on the bias into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
- Cook pasta according to the package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, 3 teaspoons of the anchovies, and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic begins to color and anchovies dissolve into the sauce.
- Add drained and chopped broccoli rabe and sauté until thoroughly heated and slightly wilted. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add drained pasta and remaining 1 teaspoon anchovies and toss until pasta is coated with sauce and dish is heated through, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve.
Beverage pairing: Fâmega Vinho Verde, Portugal. This light, bright dish with a green, pleasantly bitter streak seeks the same characteristics in a wine—and will find them in a Vinho Verde, the delightful wine from northern Portugal. Serve well chilled.