Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Chickpeas
Mild but ever so comforting, chickpeas taste great with pungent broccoli rabe in this dish starring orecchiette (||little ears||), tiny disc-shaped pasta. Conservative palates may prefer this recipe with the lesser amount of broccoli rabe, but if you are a fan, go ahead and use the full pound.
- Bring large pot and large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, trim about 1 inch from broccoli rabe stems. Cut stalks and leaves into 1-inch pieces. Drop broccoli rabe into saucepan of boiling water. As soon as water returns to a boil, drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and set aside.
- In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved blanched broccoli rabe, chickpeas and salt; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add broth and bring to a boil. Re-duce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broccoli rabe is tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer until sauce has thickened and flavors have blended, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with pepper.
- Shortly before sauce is ready, add orecchiette to pot of boiling water; stir to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring often, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and place in large warm serving bowl. Add broccoli rabe mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan if desired.