Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Meatless Monday a Day Late! Garlicky Broccoli Rabe with Whole Wheat Pasta

Yesterday was a little hectic and I needed to make “mustgo,” did you ever have that?  That is all the leftovers that you have in your fridge that must go!  So really, Meatless Monday was not an option and hubby and I had leftover grilled shrimp on a salad and the kids had some other takeovers that were meat based.

Today was just as hectic but I didn’t have any leftovers.  When I got home from work, Hubby was  enjoying his vacation day by brewing beer and was planning on heading to a brew club meeting later in the evening.  My oldest son was by a friend's house and my youngest son was watching dad brew.  Ah, the kitchen to myself!  What a luxury.
I opened the fridge and realized I had some beautiful broccoli rabe from my Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) share.  Immediately I thought – Meatless Tuesday!  I made Garlicky Broccoli Rabe with Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Cannellini Beans.  This is soooo good and the aroma of garlic lured everyone in for dinner easily.

Although my oldest son made a face when he saw it, he immediately ate every last morsel in his bowl.

I always loved getting broccoli rabe with penne from Italian restaurants but I never was able to cook it right.  I always tried to sauté the broccoli rabe with garlic but that just doesn’t work.  I finally got a little lazy one day and decided to throw the broccoli rabe into the pasta water to blanch and it finally dawned on me this is the way to do it!!  Now this is one of my go to dishes in the summer because it is so easy and only requires 2 pots!


Whole Wheat Spaghetti (about ½ box for 4 people)
1 bunch broccoli rabe, washed, stems discarded (or composted) and leaves cut into thin strips
4 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ Cup olive oil
1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
Red pepper flakes optional
Parmesan cheese optional

Put a big pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil and cook pasta according to the package.  In the mean time, wash your broccoli rabe, and cut off the stems.  I like to cut the leaves into strips but you could cut them into smaller pieces.  Set the greens aside.  In a small saucepan heat the oil and garlic.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  I like a little color but burnt garlic just isn’t good.  Turn off the heat as soon as the garlic is a little golden and smells divine!

When you have about 4 minutes cooking time left for the pasta, throw the broccoli rabe into the water.  If you don’t salt your pasta water, I highly recommend doing it in this recipe.  I normally don’t salt pasta water because I usually make very flavorful sauces.  However, the greens really could use some salt to bring out the vibrant flavor. 

I like to empty the can of beans into my colander (rinse them when they are in there) so that when I drain the pasta it heats the beans a little.   Add the pasta back to your pot and pour the garlic oil into the pasta and toss to fully coat.  There you have it!  I had a little parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes on mine as did Hubby and my older son.  My youngest ate it sans pepper flakes!
It might seem a little high in calories because of the olive oil but remember,  this serves about 4 people.  And olive oil is heart healthy!  This dish is about 450 calories per serving.  Depending upon your caloric budget for dinner you could have a small side salad or a glass of wine! 



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