Pasta with broccoli rabe and olives

Yield: 2 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 Good-sized bunch broccoli rabe
(about 1 1/4 pounds)
8 ounces Medium-sized pasta
Such as penne or fusilli or shells
⅓ cup Pitted oil-cured olives
1 tablespoon Roasted garlic or basil; up to 2
OR plain olive oil
1 tablespoon Shoyu or tamari; up to 2
Grated Parmesan cheese; (optional)

Makes 2-3 servings. Prep: under 10 minutes. Cooking: 5 to 10 minutes.

(depending upon type of pasta)

Whenever I see a nice fresh bunch of broccoli rabe in the produce section, I can't resist making this simple dish. It's my favorite last-minute supper, and I never seem to tire of it.

Is it the slight bitter edge of the broccoli rabe or the crunchiness of the stems contrasted with the chewiness of the pasta? I'm not quite sure. (Look for perky greens, with no browning on the cut ends of the stems; avoid any bunches with yellowed or damaged leaves.) Roasted garlic and basil olive oils marry remarkably well with soy sauce and offer tasty alternatives for the splash-on sauce-I often use a little of each. If I happen to have some imported black olives on hand, I toss some in. Leftovers are good at room temperature with a drizzle of lemon juice.

While you are waiting for a large pot (six-quart or larger) of water to come to a boil, prepare the broccoli rabe: Discard any bruised or yellowed leaves. Holding the bunch together, trim off and discard the bottom 1 inch of the stems. Still holding it in a bunch, slice the remaining stems crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place the stems in a colander, rinse, and set aside. Holding the greens in a bunch, cut the greens and florets (there won't be many) crosswise into about 1-inch pieces.

Cook the pasta in the rapidly boiling water for 4 minutes less than indicated on the package. Add the broccoli rabe stems and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, place the leaves and florets in the empty colander and rinse.

Add the leaves and florets to the pasta (push them down to submerge them) and cook until the pasta is al dente, about 2 more minutes. Drain thoroughly Return the pasta and broccoli rabe to the pot, or place in a serving bowl, and toss in the olives. Add the oil and shoyu to taste and toss again. Serve hot or at room temperature. Sprinkle with Parmesan if desired.

Recipe by: Lorna Sass' Short-Cut Vegetarian, page 104 Converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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