Monday, June 29, 2009

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta Salata and Prosciutto

I have turned into my father. When I was young I thought my father was crazy, partly because he would go out to the garden, stand in front of it, left hand on his hip, right hand holding a Marlboro (we won't get into the health hazards of smoking because he has since quit) and just stare at it, for what seemed like hours. This to me seemed like a colossal waste of time, and completely non productive, certainly there were other things that needed to be done - why was he just staring at the garden.

I now go to the back yard and do the same exact thing. I stare at the garden, as if it is going to grow before my very eyes. I monitor the smallest growth from the day before. I stand there, hand on hip and literally will the vegetables to "show me something." Of all the people, in all the world that I thought I would draw similarities to later in life I never, never in my wildest dreams thought it wold be my father. He is a foodie, I am a foodie, he likes to write, I like to write, he's got a quirky sense of humor - I've got more of a sick and twisted sense of humor, but he thinks I'm funny so there has to be some correlation there. He loves to garden and plant, which when I was younger I thought was "totally gay" (I know, not PC, but I was like 13 when I was saying this), I cannot get enough of my gardens, vegetables and flowers. When did this happen. When did I become a 60 year old man? Anyway, I'm happy that I've taken these things from him, surprised, but happy just the same.

This recipe is one that I watched Emeril make on his non live show, I'm not sure what it's called. I thought that this recipe looked amazing and and it was a very easy recipe to throw together. Now, yes, it does have meat in it. I went to a specialty shop and bought Proscuitto d'Parma which CB has done a lot of research into and is content with the way that the "happy pigs" of Parma are treated while they are alive - free to roam, fed an all natural diet, not kept in unsightly living conditions, so yes, there is meat in this recipe. I pretty much ate around the meat, but I didn't get too crazy with making sure there wasn't any meat in my portion.

Hands down, I would make this recipe again in a heart beat. It was delicious and fast. The image above is not mine, we scoffed this shit down so fast there was no time to take a picture. Seriously.

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta Salata and Prosciutto | Emeril


  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound dried orecchiette pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup julienned onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 10 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 4 to 6 ounces ricotta salata, coarsely grated


In a large soup pot or stockpot, bring 4 quarts of cold water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt and the orecchiette and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce.

While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet and, when hot, add the onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until onions are golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the prosciutto and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and black pepper and cook, tossing, until the broccoli rabe is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid and cook, stirring, until everything is heated through and well-combined. Remove from the heat and add the parsley, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and the ricotta salata; toss thoroughly to combine.

Serve immediately.

Rating - Damn Good

1 comment:

Dad said...

Thanks, J!

The orecchiette sounds good. I love broccoli rabe....didn't grow for me last year though.