Orecchiette with Rapini
Source: John Pauley and Anna Li, Mattarello
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on September 14, 2013.
2 ounces rapini (broccoli rabe)
4 ounces fresh orecchiette or 2 ounces dry orecchiette
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, chopped
Chile flakes, to taste
2 ounces Pecorino, grated
Extra-virgin olive oil
1. Blanch the rapini in salted boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Immediately remove them from the water and cool them in an iced water bath, then drain well.
2. Bring a medium-sized pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta. Fresh pasta will cook faster than dried pasta.
3. While the pasta is cooking, heat a sauté pan over a medium flame. Add the butter (don’t let it get too hot; it should just lightly bubble). Add the garlic and cook until tender, but don’t let it brown. Add the rapini and chili flakes and toss with the butter and garlic.
4. Add the cooked pasta directly to the contents of the sauté pan (do not drain the pasta and cool it down with cold water!) and turn the flame up to high. Add 2 to 4 ounces of pasta water. The combination of butter and pasta water will emulsify and be your sauce. Once the sauce has achieved your desired consistency, remove from heat. Toss with 1 ounce of pecorino.
5. Plate the orecchiette and dress with the remaining Pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil. Season to taste with salt.