"Drowned" Broccoli Rabe with Tomatoes & Pancetta
Source: Joyce Goldstein, Author of Mediterranean Fresh and many other cookbooks.
⅓ cup Extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves Garlic, minced
⅓ pound Pancetta, cut into small dice
3 pounds Broccoli rabe, (stems discarded) cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup Water, or as needed
10 Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Pinch Chile pepper flakes, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and pancetta and sauté until they take on a bit of color, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and ½ cup of the water, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the remaining ½ cup water, the chile pepper flakes, and a little salt and pepper and mix well. Re-cover and continue to cook over low heat until the greens are tender, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Check from time to time and add a little water if the greens threaten to scorch.
Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: Some recipes for this dish recommend using red or white wine instead of water, but I find that the wine makes the broccoli rabe taste excessively bitter.
Variations: Add 6 to 8 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped, or 3 or 4 salt-packed anchovies, rinsed, filleted, and chopped, with the garlic. Or, add 1 cup diced caciocavallo cheese with the chile pepper flakes.