The farmer’s market seems to be swimming in rabe. I had heard of broccoli rabe, also called rapini, before and had thought that it was a specific plant. My Google search agrees with me, here’s a Wikipedia definition. However, there seems to be all kinds of different rabes at the market. The farmer’s seem to be referring to any budding side shoot of the cabbage family. I’ve found kale rabe, mixed rabe, and broccoli rabe; however, I don’t believe the broccoli rabe I bought was rapini but the small shoots of a broccoli plant. Honestly, I’m not real concerned. They were all quite tasty.
This recipe can be ready in about 30 minutes making it a perfect dish for after work. It’s also one of those dishes that’s pretty easy, but fairly impressive, and ends up looking like you worked hard. You could substitute multi-colored pasta to up the wow factor. I served it with a salad topped with balsamic vinaigrette. Voila, quick, pretty, and healthy!
Broccoli Rabe, Rotini, and Chicken
6 oz. rotini pasta
2 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
½ pound chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
Salt & pepper
3 Tbsp. white wine
½ pound broccoli rabe, but in bite size pieces
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried parsley
2/3 cup fresh, roughly grated parmesan cheese*
Start the pasta cooking according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, continuing to stir frequently. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. When the chicken begins to turn white, add 2 Tbsps. of the wine.
As soon as the chicken has turned white on all sides, it should not be cooked through (about 5 minutes after adding it), add the Italian Seasoning, parsley, and rabe.
Drain the pasta reserving a ½ cup of the water.
Add the pasta water and 1 Tbsp. wine to the chicken. Let it cook together for about a minute and then add the pasta, tossing to mix.
Remove the pasta from the heat and mix in the parmesan cheese, thoroughly tossing to mix.
*By rough I mean the largest grate you can manage. Don’t use the bottled, freeze-dried parmesan and avoid the usual grate size (the one you would use for cheddar). Use a vegetable peeler if necessary.
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