We all have our little tricks in the kitchen, right? And many of us have our secret ingredients we always turn to.
Mine, of course, is LOVE. Cooking with the intention of LOVE – loving the dish you’re making or knowing that when you serve the food, your family and friends will LOVE it and you will make them happy, that’s what turns me on. And that’s why I always cook with LOVE. I just want to make people happy. Nothing makes me happier than to hear little murmurs of delight from folks while eating my food.
Our youngest son, Zachary, whose birthday is today, said he knew my food always tasted so good because of the LOVE I put into it while cooking. One sister-in-law of mine told me years ago that I was good at picking recipes. But then she asked, why did my food always taste so good. She had made some of the same recipes. I guess Zachary had the answer.
So I was talking to a new colleague about our MARY’s secret ingredients culinary subscription box and he told me his “secret ingredient” was capers.
I also love capers and caperberries even more! Roasted, they become that crunchy burst of saltiness that I just love. Anchovies are another – throw them into a dish and they melt and add that wonderful umami flavor. Pancetta is also another good one.
Back to the box, our summer box is hitting mailboxes right now and as usual, it has a great curated collection of new products, some are ready to eat and with all of them, I’ve created a delicious recipe to make meals special for you and your family. There are still a few summer boxes left and you can pick one up here. If you use the code SAVE20 you can save 20% on a full year subscription – that’s 4 seasonal boxes for about $87.00! And remember, we are a proud supporter of the worldwide organization combatting hunger, Feed The Children, so a portion of your box purchase goes to support them.
Back to this Super Quick Broccoli Rabe and Pasta Recipe, this is a great dish for a meatless night. Meatless Monday is tomorrow! My proportion of broccoli rabe to the pasta is great – a lot more broccoli rabe and depending on how big your eaters are, this can serve 2 or 3 with just 8 oz. of pasta. This comes together so quickly, using the already near boiling water from the broccoli rabe to cook the pasta in. Bringing the broccoli rabe to almost boiling removes the bitterness and starts to work on tenderizing those stems.
Make this tomorrow night to start your week quick. Make it with LOVE and enjoy!!
SUPER QUICK BROCCOLI RABE AND PASTA RECIPE – serves 2 – 3
I bunch of broccoli rabe, ends trimmed, cut into 2” pieces, and washed in a bath of water to remove all grit. Never
buy broccoli rabe that has blooming yellow flowers – that’s a message that it will be very bitter
1/2 lb. spaghetti or other dry pasta
3 Tbs. olive oil
7 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
5 anchovies, blotted dry of oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Coarse sea salt – for cooking pasta and broccoli rabe
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
In a large pasta pot, place the washed broccoli rabe. Fill the pot with water to be at least 2 inches above the broccoli rabe. Add in the salt and stir to combine. Place the pot on high heat.
Meanwhile, warm the 3 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet on low heat, (large enough to hold the broccoli rabe and pasta too), add the garlic and stir. Do not let it brown.
When small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot with the broccoli rabe, remove the rabe with a slotted spoon into a colander over a bowl and let drain. Let the water in the pot come back to a full boil. When that happens, add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the lower number on the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, (be sure to stir every once in a while), put the broccoli rabe in the skillet with the garlic and raise heat to medium – medium-high. Cook a bit more, and toss. Add in the anchovies and keep tossing and cooking.
When the pasta is near the end of cooking, take a large coffee mug and scoop out some pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the broccoli rabe, stirring with tongs to combine. Add about ¼ cup of pasta water, the crushed red pepper flakes and toss to finish cooking the pasta just to al dente and be sure the broccoli rabe stems are crisp tender. Taste to your liking with more salt and some fresh ground black pepper.
Serve in warm bowls with LOVE!
EXCITING TRAVEL NEWS!
I want to tell you, I’m so excited, we’re heading to Poland and Italy in 11/2 weeks!!! We will celebrate Zach’s birthday in Warsaw with his fiancée, Agata. They have big plans to take us all over including visiting local farmer’s markets and a day trip to Krakow. Then we will fly to Milano, 2 days there, then train to Arezzo in Tuscany for Bianca’s wedding. Bianca is sort of my surrogate daughter. She is the daughter of the family our oldest son lived with for his semester abroad during his university years. She and her fiancé have visited us in NYC often. But, it has been 10 years since both families have been together and Tiziana, the mother, has asked me to help her cook the Friday night family dinner before the wedding on Saturday! I am SO excited and honored!!! We have been emailing. I will shop with her in the morning for her cheeses and she has asked me to come up with ideas for dessert. I’m thinking of big pans of rhubarb and strawberry crisps. What do you think?
So get ready for some great fun stories and photography from Poland and Italy!!! Is there anything specific you’d like to see? Let me know…