August 12, 2014

pasta with broccoli rabe and sun-dried tomatoes

 I have made a couple versions of this pasta but this one is my favorite!  The browned butter makes this pasta.  If you have never done it I highly recommend it.  Just by cooking the butter a little past the melting point results in the milk solids in the butter browning, and creating a wonderfully nutty aroma.

Servings 4-6
Total Time 25 minutes

  • 1 pound pasta, whatever shape you like (but chunky ones will match up better with the rabe), if you are making this gluten-free make sure to buy gluten-free pasta
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections (I attempt to match my pasta in length)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup butter, do not use margerine... it won't work
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste
  • About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (broil for just a couple of minutes until they begin to brown)
  • grated parmesan cheese to serve


Bring a huge pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe will wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain rabe and pasta together and return to the large pot.  Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil and set aside.

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, heat the butter until it begins to brown, around 7-10 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes, and salt.  Remove from the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Be careful... it is pretty easy to overcook browned butter and go from brown to burnt. If the butter starts to blacken, I suggest dumping it and starting over (something I've had to do on occasion), unless you want beurre noir which has a very different taste than nutty brown butter.

 Pour mixture over pasta, add the sun-dried tomatoes, and toss to evenly coat. 

Top with freshly grated cheese and pine nuts.  Enjoy!!!

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