Monday, March 8, 2010

Bowties & Spicy Broccolette

Hello! This is Lauren and I'm here to kick off our new blog - Delicious Dish! We started this blog to discuss the one thing that keeps us from hating each other - food. We plan to discuss recipes we try, restaurants we go to, and whatever other food-related topics we feel like discussing. We all live on the West Coast, so we will mainly discuss Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco.

To tell you a little about myself: I'm kind of new to cooking and baking, but I enjoy trying new recipes. I'm mostly drawn to healthy recipes for dinner and horrible-for-you recipes for dessert. I also like baking breads and am honing my skills in that area (it's complicated...especially with an oven that runs too hot and crazily). I love going to new restaurants, but it takes really good food for me to start raving about one.

I'm just going to get this out right now, before you think I have a problem I that hasn't been acknowledged: I love hot sauce. Specifically, Tapatio. I buy maybe four 32 ouncers a year. I have been known to consume it by itself, in the privacy of my own home where no one can shame me for it. I will probably talk about it as if it were my close friend.

Now, for my first topic. Dinner. I went searching through my collection of recipes and picked one that I tore from the Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. I gave it a whirl - like I said, I'm kind of new to actual cooking. It actually went really smoothly. I actually read ahead to make sure I wouldn't have to rush to chop something in the middle of cooking something else.

Now, one of the letters to the editor complained that Rachael Ray's (RR) recipes were often bland. I have to agree that some of them are lacking (i.e. Cajun Chicken Fingers - put some Tapatio on that shit!), but Bowties & Spicy Broccoli Rabe was delicious and plenty flavorful for me. Maybe it was all the salt I accidentally ("accidentally"?) added. Please see the RR recipe below.

Bowties and Spicy Broccoli Rabe with Crunchy Crumbs

Rachael Ray

Serves 4; 15 minutes to prep; 35 minutes to cook

1 head garlic
1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 1/4 lbs) - I used broccolette and I thought it went fine
1 lb farfalle (bowtie) pasta
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red chile, seeded and chopped finely - I couldn't find this, so I used a serrano pepper...
1 dinner roll - I think any bread will do; I used an english muffin I made a few weeks ago
1 pint ricotta cheese

1. Fill a large saucepan three-quarters full with water. Add the garlic (separated into unpeeled cloves with the base of each clove trimmed), bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes; transfer the garlic to a plate. Reserve the saucepan of boiling water. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and halve lengthwise (I am just now seeing this "halve lengthwise" business...leave them whole if you feel rebellious!).

2. Add the broccoli rabe to the boiling water and cook until the stems are just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse with cold water until cool.

3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente.

4. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved broccoli rabe and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, stir in the chile and transfer to a medium bowl. Wipe the skillet clean, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups of the dinner roll breadcrumbs (I only crumbled about 1/4 cup, so I'll probably be missing out when I get to the last few plates of this dish - DO NOT SKIP THE BREADCRUMBS. I was going to skip them to save time, but they are really good in this dish) and cook, stirring, until browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water, and return to the pot. Stir in the ricotta and reserved pasta water, then the broccoli rabe mixture; season with salt and pepper. Top with the crunchy breadcrumbs.

If you don't think it's got flavor, just add more salt and pepper. Red chile flakes would have been good in here as well.
Over and Out!

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