The night before Christmas Eve, I was strongly tempted to pick up the phone and order take-out. I was beyond tired, and there was so much left to do that taking the easy way out for dinner was alluring to say the least. Then I remembered what Rachael Ray always says … “I can make dinner better than any take-out meal, and usually faster too.” And that’s with her ending her day at 10 pm most nights. But it’s true, really. What we can whip up in our own kitchens can seriously rival restaurant cooking (and especially take-out) anytime, but more often than not, it’s more a question of energy.
But my problem was quickly solved when I discovered this recipe for La Dolce Pasta in the January 2009 issue of In Style magazine. The recipe is a creation from Chef Nancy Silverton (she of La Brea Bakery fame and a slew of cookbooks) from the Osteria Mozza restaurant in Los Angeles. A favorite Hollywood Italian eatery, Osteria Mozza is a frequent celebrity haunt.
With just a few easy ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time, you’ll be enjoying this one as much as we did (and Madeline in particular, as you can see from the picture). And the kicker? The whole family ate broccoli rabe! After The Husband took a few hearty bites, I asked him how he liked it.
“Don’t worry, I’m eating the spinach.”
“It’s not spinach, it’s broccoli rabe.”
None of them could tell the difference (and it’s not like they eat spinach anyway), but the flavor it added to the dish was so mild, no one picked it out. So score all around. With the broccoli rabe cooking along with the pasta, this dish is done by the time the pasta is cooked. Take that, take-out!
La Dolce Pasta
Recipe courtesy of Nancy Silverton, Osteria Mozza restaurant
1 box (12 oz) orecchiette
1 bunch (1-1/4 lb) broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lb (about 3 links) hot Italian sausage, casings removed (I used 4 sweet instead)
1-1/2 cups store-bought Marinara sauce
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook orecchiette according to package directions. Add broccoli rabe during last 3 minutes of cooking; drain. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 2-3 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon; cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Add cooked pasta and broccoli rabe to skillet, tossing until combined. Stir in marinara sauce; cook 1 minute or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheeses before serving.