I was cleaning out my "already tried" recipe folder and found this recipe. I made it so long ago, that I didn't remember making it the first time so I thought that I'd try it again. I changed it a little this time, trying to use up some ingredients that I had in the refrigerator. The kids enjoyed this. They both like pepperoni, my son loves cheese, and my daughter enjoyed the broccoli rabe. I remember grocery shopping with her when she was maybe 3 years old and buying some broccoli rabe. She asked me what it was and when I told her what it was she replied, "I like broccoli, I don't like rabe." Fast forward to this dinner, eating some broccoli rabe she told me that it looked and tasted like broccoli....and she ate it all up! I was pleasantly surprised! This was tasty enough and had components that the kids could pick out what they didn't like, so they were more willing to eat this. This was a quick and easy weeknight pasta meal.
recipe slightly adapted from EveryDay with Rachael Ray, September 2007
1 pound rigatoni
2 bunches broccoli rabe, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more to pass around the table
1/3 pound sliced pepperoni
3 oz. mozzarella, diced
1.Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water. Reserve the pot.
2.While the pasta is working, fill a deep skillet with enough water to reach 2 inches deep. Bring to a boil, salt it and add the broccoli rabe; lower the heat and simmer until just tender, 7 to 8 minutes; drain and set aside. In the same skillet, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Return the broccoli rabe to the skillet and cook for 1 minute longer.
3.In the pasta pot, combine the ricotta, parmigiano-reggiano and pepperoni. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking liquid, broccoli rabe, diced mozzarella, and pasta and toss to coat. Season with black pepper.
Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.