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Categories: Main courses, Vegetarian

Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe and Garlic Bread Crumbs

Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe and Garlic Bread Crumbs
Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

This simple pasta dish is all about textures--crisp-tender broccoli rabe, slightly chewy orecchiette, crunchy garlic bread crumbs and creamy ricotta cheese, which melts into a sauce. When buying broccoli rabe, broccoli's peppery cousin, look for slender, dark green stalks with ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 4

Pasta

  • Salt
  • 1 (1-pound) bunch broccoli rabe
  • 3/4 pound dried orecchiette
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • Garlic Bread Crumbs

Step 1Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Trim the ends of the broccoli rabe stalks and slice any thick stalks in half lengthwise. Cut the stalks on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces (with the leaves attached). Boil the pasta according to the package directions until al dente, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic and pepper flakes until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Avoid browning the garlic. Add the broccoli rabe, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 3Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of cooking water. Add the cooked pasta to the broccoli rabe in the skillet and stir in the ricotta cheese. Add most of the cooking water to moisten, using all of it if needed. Serve with Garlic Bread Crumbs sprinkled on top.

Garlic bread crumbs

  • 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices day-old Italian-style bread, crusts trimmed
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic

Step 1Brush the bread lightly with oil. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees, turning the slices over midway through baking time, until they're golden brown, about 15 minutes. Rub both sides of the toasted slices with a garlic clove.

Step 2Grind the bread in a food processor or seal it in a plastic bag and crush it into crumbs with a rolling pin. Sprinkle over the pasta before serving.

Each serving:
741 calories; 894 mg sodium; 31 mg cholesterol; 31 grams fat; 92 grams carbohydrates; 25 grams protein; 2.45 grams fiber.
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