Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
I have created this recipe due to my love for the flavor of rapini. Its bitterness is complemented quite well with Garlic and Olive Oil. Adding your favorite pasta, mine is rotini, will give you an enjoyable, meatless, meal. *Note: The photo shows how reduced the rapini should be before sautéing it.
- 3 bunches of fresh rapini
- 1 head garlic
- 3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 lb rotini pasta
- 1⁄2 cup margarine or 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup of grated romano cheese
- Start by taking the rapini and removing any yellow leaves, (if they exist); Chop off the ends of the stalks about 1/2 inch to get rid of any dry tips.
- Now fill your sink with cold water and let the leaves soak in the water, moving them around, to remove any debris between them and also clean them; you will get to cook them a little later.
- Take a large pot, I use one about 16" high; Fill the pot with 3/4 water and add 2 tbsp of salt; Bring the water to a boil on your stove.
- Drain rapini from cold water and then add them to boiling water.
- You must cook them until they get soft; Continue boiling for at least 1/2 hr (until tender).
- Strain rapini from boiling water; Take rapini and try the best you can to squeeze out the water from the cooked bunch; This could take some muscle work but will be well worth it when you mix it with the other ingredients later; (Use a heavy spoon to press the cooked rapini into the strainer); Continue until most water is squeezed out; You should be able to roll the rapini into a ball now; Put rapini aside until later.
- Take your garlic head and peel all of the cloves off, (remove skins).
- Using a garlic presser, crush each clove until the entire garlic head has been processed.
- Take half of your olive oil and heat it in a large skillet.
- Sauté the pressed/crushed garlic in the hot oil until the garlic begins to brown.
- Add the rapini by breaking it into chunks, and spread it out over the surface to the garlic oil, in the skillet.
- Add the remainder of your olive oil and continue to sauté the garlic, rapini and oil until the rapini has soaked up the olive oil; (about 10 min).
- Boil the rotini pasta until it is the softness you desire, note: Add some salt to the boiling water while cooking the rotini, (pinch).
- Strain cooked rotini and place back into pan.
- Mix margarine, cayenne pepper, black pepper and romano cheese until the rotini is well coated.
- Add garlic rapini and oil from skillet into pan, over the rotini; Mix until the rotini is well coated.
- Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese; Enjoy!
I agree, whenever I make pasta with rapini I add the chooped vegetable to the pasta cooking water 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, then drain everything together. One thing I do, though, is peel the thicker part of the stalks before chopping. It helps it all cook evenly. I have heard that Italians like their green vegetables very THOROUGHLY cooked, so perhaps this recipe reflects that taste.
The taste was excellent. However, I found the cooking times vastly too high. After 15 minutes of boiling, a fork easily went through the thickest part of the rapini easily. Also, it took only about 2 minutes for the rapini to soak up the olive oil. Next time, I would boil the rapini even less.