Orecchiete e Cima di Rapa

6 May

We grow quite a lot of Italian vegetables in our garden and Cima di Rapa, also known as; Broccoletto, Broccoli de Rabe, Turnip Top or Rapini is one that should be better known. It is popular with both gardeners and cooks in Northern Italy. This dish is the classic Italian recipe for Cima di Rapa, once tasted, it is easy to understand why it is such a classic pasta dish. We are harvesting our second crop of Cima di Rapa this month, the first was in January, so it is about time I shared our recipe for this great but simple pasta dish.

Serves 2 Cook and prep 15 mins

* Cima di rapa (colander full)
* 250g of Orecchiette small pasta shapes, the name literally translates as little ears
* 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
* 1 small white onion, minced (optional)
* 1 red chilli, finely sliced
* 2 tbsp Olive oil
* Salt to taste
* Anchovies (optional)
* Parmesan, freshly grated

Bring a very large pan of salted water to boil add the pasta shapes and a little oil, cover and cook for 12mins or for the cooking time specified on the pasta packet. While the pasta is cooking, wash the cima di rapa well, cut off any hard stems and chop. Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok, add the onion, garlic and anchovies, if using, and fry until softened, then add the greens and chilli. Cover and steam-saute until the greens are tender. Drain the pasta and throw it into the pan add a good helping of parmesan cheese and toss well.

Variation
I personally find the little hat shapes can stick together too much when cooking, depending on the quality of the pasta, and sometimes use other shapes of pasta, such as bows with bacon instead of anchovies, as pictured.

Gardener’s Tip
Cima di Rapa is a very fast growing brassica with edible stems and a small bud cluster. Varieties are named based on the number of days they take to mature, which is 40, 60, 90 or 120. To harvest, cut the budding shoots just before the flowers open at ground level. Harvest until shoots are too small and tough. If the weather remains cool, you can expect a second and possibly third cutting from each plant. Sow in drills, lightly cover with soil and keep well watered. Grows well undercover in the winter months and early spring.

This recipe was originally posted on www.masdudiable.com on 6/5/2007.

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One Response to “Orecchiete e Cima di Rapa”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Broccoli Raab « Mas du Diable - 09/02/2012

    […] gardeners seem to grow it and it is the star of a number of classic Italian dishes including Orecchiete e Cima di Rapa , pasta primavera, potato and spring greens pie, otherwise the greens are simply pan fried in olive […]

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