When I arrived here a year ago, I was disappointed to find no broccoli or rapini in the market as I like both these vegetables. This is because fresh vegetables are strictly seasonal here and these are fall/winter vegetables. Not having rapini means not eating one of my favourite pastas, orecchiette con rapini. So last week when we saw the absolute last basket of rapini for the year on sale, we bought a bunch to make this pasta.
Recipe (2 large helpings):
1 bunch rapini (about 300 – 400g)
160 g orecchiette
3-4 tabspns olive oil
1 – 2 dried red chillies
1 – 2 cloves garlic slivered
Put the olive oil in the pan, add the garlic, anchovies and chillies and heat gently. Smash the anchovies with a wooden spatula until they break up and melt into the oil. Remove the garlic if desired but I leave it in. Add the rapini, mix well and set aside. Meanwhile bring water to the boil, add salt and then the orecchiette. Most pasta takes about 9 minutes to cook but orecchiette takes a few minutes more so check but make sure not to overcook, they should be ‘al dente’. Keep some of the water aside, then drain and return to the pot.