Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe
(Serves 6-8) –Vegan, Soy-Free and can be made Gluten-Free

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Easy breezy orecchiette and rapini. Rapini aka Broccoli Rabe is bitter, bold and tasty. The first time I sampled Broccoli Rabe was at a vegan restaurant in NYC, oh boy were we all thrown by the bitterness. These leafy greens may be an acquired taste for some. Blanching/shocking coupled with the heat of the crushed red pepper flakes should help cut the bitterness. We enjoyed this preparation much better than our NYC experience. I absolutely love simple pasta dishes.

When you’re eating out, choices can be simplified. An effortless ‘go to’ dish for me, other than the obvious salad, would be pasta tossed with fresh garlic, olive oil and veggies-typically broccoli or whatever veggies are on hand. –Be sure to confirm the pasta is eggless. Eating out doesn’t have to be over complicated, I always get the same question from non-vegans, “what are you going to eat, I don’t see anything ‘vegan’ on the menu.” My response is typically, “Food” hehe. Keep it Simple. This pasta dish is flexible try it with Broccoli Rabe, Swiss chard, Kale, Peas or Broccoli. You can add in vegan Tofurky sausage if you’d like to make it a traditional Orecchiette, Broccoli Rabe and Sausage dish. Enjoy!
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Ingredients:
1 bunch Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)
2 (12oz) boxes Orecchiette pasta
5 cloves Garlic, chopped, divided
7 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
¼ Tsp crushed Red Pepper flakes
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Fresh ground Pepper
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Directions:
-Prepare ice bath – fill a large bowl with cold water and ice.
-Bring pot of water to boil.
-Trim ends of Broccoli Rabe about 1 ½ inch. Chop remaining in thirds.
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-Rinse in colander under cool water.
-Blanch & Shock: Place Broccoli Rabe in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from water then immediately transfer to ice bath for 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
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-Prepare pasta according to package. –I boil the pasta in the same water that I blanched the broccoli rabe in. I cook for exactly 12 minutes. Drain then set aside.
-Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in pan over medium add crushed red pepper flakes and heat for about a minute. Add half of the garlic and continue heat thru for another minute.
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-Add Broccoli Rabe to olive oil, garlic mixture and toss to coat and heat through.
-Add Pasta to pan and toss to coat. Then add remaining Garlic, Nutritional Yeast, Salt/Pepper and remaining olive oil. Serve and Enjoy!
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