Friday, January 22, 2010

Penne with Broccoli Raab

This is one of my family’s favorite easy dinners—a step up from  boiling frozen tortellini when we’re feeling rushed or lazy. The recipe also works well as a side for roasted or grilled chicken.

(serves two adults and two children)

a large bunch of broccoli raab
1 lb dried penne
¼ c olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Parmesan or Romano cheese (for grating)

1. Bring a large pot of salted pasta water to a boil.

2. If you haven’t already done so, trim the ends of the broccoli raab (see tip below). Blanch the broccoli raab in the boiling pasta water for two minutes. Remove and drain.

3. Bring the pasta water back to a boil. Add the penne and cook until done. Drain.

4. Meanwhile, when the penne is nearly done, begin heating the oil and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over a medium flame. Chop the drained broccoli raab into pieces about an inch or so long and add them to the skillet. When the penne is cooked and drained, add it to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve with cheese for grating.

• The wire that holds the bunch of broccoli raab together in the supermarket promotes spoilage, so I remove it when I get home. Before I do, however, I trim the ends of the broccoli raab, because trimming is much easier when the bunch is still wrapped tightly.

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