Orecchiette con le rape (with rapini)


Rapini  (Brassica  Rapa) is also known in the United States as Broccoli Rave. It is a cruciferous vegetable, the edible parts are the leaves, buds and stems. It’s buds resemble broccoli but without the large head. It is known for it’s bitter taste and is widely used in Italian cuisine, especially traditional in the south of Italy. In Spain it is known as Grelos, typical in the region of Galicia.

It has always been my favourite vegetable which I haven’t been able to find in shops and markets during the 25 years I have lived here in Catalonia, so I could only eat it when I visited my family in Italy. Last week  Lluís, an ex colleague from school who is now retired and loves looking after his vegetable garden, came to visit with a bunch of Rapini as if carrying a bunch of flowers. He said he fed them to the geese as people here don’t know this kind of vegetable. To make a long story short I’m receiving a weekly amount of Rapini, enough to make delicious dishes for the whole family. I’m so grateful to Lluís for this.

Ingredients:  (for 4 people)

1 kg approx of rapini
EVO oil
White wine
Chilly peppers fresh or in olive oil (optional if you like spicy food)
1/2 kg Orecchiette pasta  (gluten free pasta can be used too)

Cut the leaves, buds and the softest part of the stem, wash in water and boil in very little water in a cooking pot for 10 . The amount of water should cover only 1/4 of the vegetables and stir very often.
Put the rapini in a pan, add olive oil, salt and 1/2 a glass of white wine, when the liquid is completely evaporated add a teaspoon of chilly peppers oil or dry chilly peppers if you like spicy food.
Separately boil the pasta in a separate cooking pot in a lot of water and add a spponful of thick salt while boiling. When the pasta is cooked mix it with the vegetables, add vegan Parmesan on each dish.


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