Friday, January 15, 2016

Ricotta Pasta with Broccoli Rabe

I found LOTS of fun new recipes to try out in the January/February 2016 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray. The recipe for Broccolini and Ricotta Pasta reminded me of something we already make, Penne with Ricotta Cheese and Greens.

broccoli rabe instead of broccolini -
it's all in the broccoli family, right?
Now, wouldn't you know it? My grocery store doesn't carry broccolini and it never has. I've tried to buy it there before, but I can't find it. They have regular broccoli and broccoli rabe. But broccolini? I guess it just doesn't exist out here or something. 

So when I went to make this recipe, obviously, I had to adapt. 

1. The original recipe calls for two bunches of broccolini. I used about half a bunch of broccoli rabe. That also means that you'll need to cut down on the amount of crushed red pepper flakes (probably 1/2 tsp.) and minced garlic (probably 1/4 tsp.) you toss the broccoli rabe with. (Unless you like your leafy greens seriously spicy.) I also didn't need to bake the broccoli rabe as long as the recipe states. Instead of 12-15 minutes, I did 7-8 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the light on in your oven to keep an eye on your greens.

2. Yes, instead of using a fresh Fresno chile, I chose to do the crushed red pepper flakes. And instead of two garlic cloves, I went with minced garlic. (I've tried working with fresh garlic and IT JUST DOESN'T HAPPEN.) Season your broccoli rabe to taste if that's the route you go. But if your grocery store does carry broccolini, you don't have to veer too far from Rachael Ray's recipe.

3. I'm also not sure if I used fresh cow's or sheep's milk ricotta cheese. I just purchased the Galbani brand ricotta cheese. It's my go-to ricotta and it's great, whatever animal it comes from!

4. And, of course, we used gluten-free pasta!

All of these adaptations did not take away from the yumminess of the finished dish. My husband really liked it and had seconds. And then he ate the rest for leftovers the next night! Success!

I think next time I will incorporate the seasonings of the Rachael Ray recipe with the penne, ricotta, and spinach of our go-to recipe. A little red pepper and garlic could really add something to the basic-ness of just the ricotta cheese and lemon juice. 

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