Thursday, June 26, 2008
GARLIC SHRIMP PASTA WITH BROCCOLI RABE
Many people are afraid to try broccoli rabe (rapini) because they've heard that it's bitter. While it can have a bit of a bite, if prepared correctly it doesn't have to taste bitter. It's a wonderful vegetable, loaded with goodness, and it marries well with most pasta, but needs a sauce that is understated. In the winter, I enjoy it with turkey sausage and orrechiette. I wanted something that was a bit more "summery," so this recipe was born.
Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe - 2 to 3 servings
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and sliced very thinly
1 head broccoli rabe, washed and drained, roughly chopped
8 oz shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
8 oz spaghetti
1/3 cup olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese
In a heavy skillet, heat the 1/3 cup oil and add the thinly sliced garlic. Cook over low flame. You want to "toast" the garlic slowly. It will take between 15-25 minutes. Stir when it starts to brown. PATIENCE is required here to get that lovely, nutty flavor. Remove from oil when completely toasted. As the garlic toasts, bring a large pot of water to a boil; I add about a half teaspoon of sugar. Add the broccoli rabe to the boiling water; cook for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and bring the water to a second boil and cook the spaghetti. About 3 minutes before the spaghetti is done, reheat the oil in the skillet and add the shrimp; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until the shrimp are no longer opaque. Add the drained broccoli rabe to the skillet and toss with the oil and shrimp. Remove the pasta with tongs and add to the skillet; add 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and cook over low heat, mixing the ingredients well (about 1 minute). Ladle into serving bowls, top each bowl with toasted garlic, and sprinkle with grated cheese.