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Pasta With Broccoli Rabe & White Bean–Anchovy Sauce
PHOTO BY BOBBI LIN

Pasta With Broccoli Rabe & White Bean–Anchovy Sauce

“I made an extra-brothy riff on this pasta recipe using what we had in the pantry and fridge: elbow macaroni, chicken stock, broccolini, canned beans, garlic, and a pack of mushrooms that were about to go bad. I served myself a big bowlful, sprinkled a lot of cheese on top, and slurped it (without spilling, yay!) while I watched a movie on the couch.” —Erin Alexander, associate editor, Food52.com.

Yields 4-6.

 Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • anchovy fillets, minced
  • medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for garnishing
  • (15 1/2–ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini, but any kind of white bean is fine)
  • 1/3 cups vegetable stock (homemade or low-sodium)
  • 1 splash heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound orecchiette, penne, or other short, tubular pasta
  • 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, washed well, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta, for garnishing (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano, for garnishing (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, heat the oil, anchovy, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring until anchovy dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add beans, stock, and cream (if using). Simmer to thicken, 4 to 5 minutes, smashing the beans gently with a wooden spoon so that some of the beans remain whole but about half become mushy. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover to keep warm.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook until pasta just begins to soften, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add greens; cook until greens are wilted fully and pasta is al dente, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
  5. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and greens and return to pot. Add sauce and reserved pasta water and cook over medium-low heat, stirring to meld flavors, about 1 minute.
  6. Taste for salt and pepper. Squeeze half a lemon over the pot and mix to combine. Mix in several dollops of fresh ricotta (if using). Serve immediately, topping with grated cheese and more red pepper flakes at the table.
Recipe created by Sarah Jampel for Food52.com https://food52.com/recipes/39420-pasta-with-broccoli-rabe-and-white-bean-anchovy-sauce

Photo by Bobbi Lin