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Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Red Pepper Flakes, and Anchovies Recipe

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Red Pepper Flakes, and Anchovies
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: | Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Broccoli rabe is the more subtly flavored and elegant relative of broccoli, and since it is available almost year-round, this is a recipe to keep on hand at all times. The anchovies and red pepper flakes give the dish complexity, but we understand if you shy away from using them.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe
  • 1 pound pasta, such as orecchiette, cavatelli, gemelli, or malloreddus
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 7 oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed and thinly sliced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch broccoli rabe by placing it in the boiling salted water for 2 minutes.
  2. Drain broccoli rabe and cool it in an ice water bath. Once cool, drain broccoli rabe and shake to remove excess water. Chop on the bias into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
  3. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  4. While the pasta cooks, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, 3 teaspoons of the anchovies, and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic begins to color and anchovies dissolve into the sauce.
  5. Add drained and chopped broccoli rabe and sauté until thoroughly heated and slightly wilted. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Add drained pasta and remaining 1 teaspoon anchovies and toss until pasta is coated with sauce and dish is heated through, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning as necessary and serve.

Beverage pairing: Fâmega Vinho Verde, Portugal. This light, bright dish with a green, pleasantly bitter streak seeks the same characteristics in a wine—and will find them in a Vinho Verde, the delightful wine from northern Portugal. Serve well chilled.