Post-Thanksgiving, the need for greens and some lighter fare is dire. OK, so maybe this dish isn't totally light considering we're using pasta, but it's made with quinoa, so it definitely feels at least a little lighter. Plus, did you read the part about the greens?
Here, in an unconventional method for cooking pasta once again, we cook both the greens and the pasta in the same skillet. At the same time. Yes, that's correct. And you know what? It's really easy and delicious.
Now, when it comes to this dish, I'm a fan of cutting the pecorino into little cubes so that it can nestle in between the pasta, maybe finding its way inside the penne, so that there might be a little surprise in every other bite. In addition, I'm also a fan of a hefty grating on top as well. I think I've successfully taken away any hopes that this recipe can be posted as healthy. Well, if you scratch the excess cheese, then it's honestly not so bad for you.
Feel free to use spelt, farro or other alternative grains instead of quinoa or use regular old pasta if you wish. A topping of toasted pine nuts might not be so bad either. And, if you want additional protein, chicken would go well with this dish.
Note: If broccoli rabe is too bitter for you, try using other winter greens like chard or even beet greens instead.
- Yield:seres 4
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:25 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tablespoon dried red chili flakes, plus more to taste
- 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed and the rest cut into 2-inch-thick pieces (about 6 cups)
- 4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 3 cups quinoa, spelt, or farro penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice from 1 lemon
- Pecorino-Romano to garnish
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, a pinch of salt and the chili flakes and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add 2 cups broccoli rabe and 2 cups of broth and cook, stirring until the rabe wilts enough to fit more into the pan. Continue adding rabe and broth until all the rabe and the liquid is in the skillet. Add the pasta and stir to combine. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat until the liquid is at a vigorous simmer. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is al dente or at desired consistency, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with grated or cubed cheese.