Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rapini and Pine Nuts
Eager to use a fresh bunch of crisp, green rapini , I washed, chopped and sautéed it in olive oil, minced garlic and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper. Meanwhile, I toasted a couple of tablespoons of pine nuts, added them to the rapini, and put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.

Once the water boiled, I added two cups of mini penne, and tossed in 4 sun-dried tomatoes. When the tomatoes had softened up I removed them with a slotted spoon and set them aside allowing the penne to finish cooking just to the al dente stage, about 8 - 9 minutes. When the softened tomatoes were cool enough to handle I sliced them up and added them to the pan of rapini along with the drained penne and mixed well with a little of the reserved cooking water.

A little thinly shaved Parmesan Regianno tops off this easy dish of pasta, rapini and pine nuts. The sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and the hint of crushed red pepper gives the whole dish a depth of flavor that belies the quick prep time. Leftovers heated up nicely the next day. Once again proving that good meals don't have to be complicated, expensive or time consuming to prepare.

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