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Hearty Italian Fare from Rick Tramonto's Kitchen

by Rick Tramonto & Mary Goodbody

Rapini con Peperoncini e Aglio
(Broccoli Rabe with Chiles and Brown Garlic)

Happily, increasing numbers of home cooks are learning to appreciate what I call a "green with attitude." Broccoli rabe is a little bitter, a little mild, and a little crunchy, and though it can be served simply, I like to dress it up with chiles and garlic. My grandmothers cooked it every which way when I was a kid and called it rapini. I just call it one of the best, most versatile of the green vegetables anywhere.

Serves 4


~ 1 pound broccoli rabe, thick or fibrous pieces removed
~ 1 Spanish onion, sliced into half moons
~ ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
~ 4 garlic doves, sliced
~ 4 whole Calabrian chiles or other small hot chiles
~ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Bring a large saucepan filled about halfway with salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and onion and blanch for about 2 minutes, so the broccoli rabe does not soften. Drain and set the vegetables aside.

2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and chiles and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic and chiles soften and the garlic turns light brown. Add the broccoli rabe and onion, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot.


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