I know this isn't the most beautiful looking dish, but it sure was delicious. Usually when I make pasta with rapini, I just saute it in olive oil and garlic and then add lemon and ground pepper. It's one of my husband's favourite meals. This time, I added some homemade canned tomatoes and some capers to jazz it up a bit. The bitterness of the greens with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the added hit of saltiness from the capers made for a terrific combination.
I have noticed that rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, is only available here from American sources and it's usually pretty expensive. In all of the years I have been cooking it, I have never seen it grown in Ontario. I've never seen it at any of the many farmers' markets I've been to throughout the province, nor have I seen plants or seeds available. My son had a CSA last summer, and he didn't get any either. It's curious, because it looks like it would be a pretty hardy thing to grow. In any case, it's a vegetable that I particularly love, so I still buy it from time to time as a treat.
I ate this over pasta, but it would be equally wonderful with polenta. You could try it with quinoa for a change as well. I didn't add Parmesan cheese to this, but it would be good with a bit on top. Without the cheese, this recipe is vegan.Rapini and Tomato Sauce with Capers
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bunch rapini, large stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 can tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp capers, drained
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a skillet heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add garlic clove and cook until it turns golden brown. Remove garlic from skillet and set aside.
2. Add rapini to pan and saute until it is almost tender, about 5 or 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and stock and allow to simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add capers and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve over pasta or polenta.
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