2 lbs of broccoli rabe
1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, whole (garlic may be minced for more intense flavor)
crushed hot pepper flakes (optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound of orecchiette pasta
1/2 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1. Trim off the bottom half of the broccoli rabe stems and all of the large, tough leaves. Cut the remaining broccoli rabe into
2-inch lengths and wash well in a colander.
2. In a large saucepan, bring 3 to 4 quarts of salted water to a boil, and add the broccoli rabe. Cook covered for 5 minutes;
drain, reserving the water.
3. In a large skillet (10 to 12-inch), sauté the garlic cloves or the minced garlic and hot pepper flakes (if desired) in the olive
oil until the garlic becomes translucent. Add the broccoli rabe and sauté until tender (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add salt and pepper and a little of the reserved cooking water to the skillet if too dry. Remove the whole
cloves of garlic, if used.
4. Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of water, to which 2 tablespoons of salt has been added, to a boil. Add the orecchiette and boil
according to package directions or until al dente, usually 5 to 8 minutes.
5. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and transfer to a warm serving platter. Add the broccoli rabe and some of
the reserved cooking water and toss well. Serve immediately, passing grated Romano cheese separately.