Difficulty Level Easy
I can remember many years ago, when I first encountered broccoli rabe, (or rapini, as it is also known), I didn't know what to do with it. It looked a bit like broccoli, but it clearly wasn't. The individual heads were significantly smaller than broccoli and there was a lot more foliage, but it looked interesting, so I decided to try it.
I called my neighbour Sue, who was a fantastic cook and a fount of information on food, gardening and child rearing and was always incredibly generous to me sharing meals, plants, and babysitting. I figured if anyone knew what to do with this stuff, she would. Coming, as I do, from a family of cooks who never met a mushy vegetable they didn't like, I asked if you boil it, like broccoli. Sue was born in Italy and didn't boil anything except pasta. No, no she said, it's a bitter green, sautee it in olive oil and garlic and put it on pasta, you'll love it. And we did. It has become one of my husbands favourite dinners.
Sue died of cancer at the young age of 55, four years ago this week and I miss her pretty much every single day. I never cook broccoli rabe without thinking of her.
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|2 cloves||of garlic, smashed|
|1 bunch||of broccoli rabe, both heads and leaves, roughly chopped|
|linguini for 4|
|juice of 1 lemon|
|hot pepper flakes (optional)|
|1/2 cup||chicken or vegetable stock (optional)|
|salt and pepper to taste|