Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Penne with Broccoli Rabe & Olives

If there's one thing I try to avoid at all costs, its overcooking vegetables. You know... there's that whole English cooks =overcooked vegetables myth. Alas, my first recipe with Broccoli Rabe involved overcooking it.

The Broccoli Rabe (aka Rapini) was a Farmers Market find. Although the vendor recommended stir-fry, I almost made a pizza, but then opted for pasta at the last minute. I followed this recipe from Suite but used feta instead of Parmesan and kalamata olives. Unusually, I wished I hadn't researched this particular subject as it resulted in a misjudgment. "Bitter" was the main word to describe Broccoli Rabe and although I tried it raw and thought it had an afterkick, it didn't strike me as particularly bitter. I parboiled the Broccoli Rabe for 2-3 minutes, per the recipe. As I watched it drain in a colander, I thought, hmmm...better stop the cooking... so I rinsed it with cold water. Alas, it was still overcooked in the final dish. Next time, I'll parboil for 1 minute and make up as needed at the saute stage.

Still, I think you'll agree, it makes a sumptuous and classically beautiful pasta dish with kalamata olives and feta.


Blogger Lydia said...

Catherine, your veggie pairings are so interesting! I've never thought of broccoli rabe with olives.

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Broccoli.Rabe and olive oil with Pasta,yum!!:))

5:16 AM  
Blogger Kalyn said...

I first tried broccoli rabe last year and had the hardest time getting it here. When I finally got some, I did like it very much. I like the sound of this combination, very unusual but sounds good to me!

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catherine~ Sumptuous, indeed! My favorite kind of pasta is simple, like this, where the freshness of the ingredients is the star. Beautiful!

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll bet it was delicious...

I think that the general american public is just not used to eating real food... so something like that would taste really bitter to them... and that is sad, because it is very good.

I love escarole salads... and don't find them bitter... I do understand why some do.. but I love how they stand up to a very bold salad dressing with lots of vinegar..

2:46 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Lydia - with salty strong tasting olives like the kalamata, its a winning combo!

Asha - I'm hooked!

Kalyn - I don't remember seeing it before, but there are a lot of rather similar looking veggies.

Karina - yes, the simple always seems to win out.

Melody - I'm very veggie tolerant. I didn't think this was bitter at all!

7:27 PM  

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