Feb 24-26 It's All About Me and That Means Rapini

Feb 24  chimichurri roast chicken
Feb 25  Pasta with rapini, olives and tomatoes

Both of my boys are going to be gone tonight so do you know what that means?
I get to make myself a beautiful dinner and I can make whatever I want!
I can use rapini and olives and  hot chilis and all of the things I never cook with because they don't like them. I could make my favourite comfort dish - leftover pasta fried up with big chunks of onion, olive oil, lots of garlic and hot chilis and then fresh basil, a scrambled egg and parmesan are stirred into it. I love that so much and they won't eat it because they are clearly insane. I don't want to do that yet though. I love that too much to use it up so soon.

I could have made myself something morrocan but since I was making something for one person, I made pasta with rapini, black olives, hot peppers - kind of between a puttanesca and the classic Pulgiese version of orecchiette with rapini. To be totally honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I had to take this Sunday, I might have just taken myself out for Indian at Amaya Bread Bar and used up one of my groupon things but I can save that for another day.

Deciding to use up what I have , I made cavatappi instead of buying orecchiette and I made enough to provide me with lunch the next day so this recipe will serve two.

2 to 2 1/2 cups pasta (or whatever you consider to be two servings - I'm not here to judge)
4 or 5 olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup to 1 cup finely diced tomato
half a bunch of rapini (about 5-6 cups chopped)
1 clove garlic
pinch chili flakes
1 tbls olive oil
freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta according to package directions. My cavatappi took about 8 minutes.
Wash and chop the rapini.

Meanwhile, heat a pan over med heat. Add the olive oil, add the clove of garlic and sauté the garlic until it's really fragrant and starting to brown - you don't want to let it burn. Remove the garlic clove, add the chili flakes to the pan and then add the freshly washed rapini. The water that clings to the rapini will help it to steam. Cover the pan and let the rapini cook for five minutes (check from time to time to make sure it's not drying out and burning - if the water evaporates you can add a small ladle of pasta water or a splash of chicken stock). After five minutes, take the lid off and add the tomato and the olives. Check seasoning and salt and pepper to taste.

If the pasta was done before the rapini, drain and set aside. Add the pasta to the pan and let it cook a bit in with the rapini, tossing and mixing it all together. Taste, adjust salt and pepper if needed and if it seems a bit dry, you can either drizzle a bit more olive oil, add another splash of chicken stock or a tiny bit of pasta water.  Put in shallow bowls and grate some fresh parmesan on top.

Sit in front of the tv with a glass of wine and put on Say Yes To The Dress and enjoy your delicious pasta all by yourself in peace because you don't have to listen to two picky boys complain about how bitter the rapini is and how olivey those olives are.


  1. looks awesome. You just inspired me to use up the rapini in that was left over in my crisper. Congrats on the top 9!

  2. How can you go a whole year without having this again?

    Here in Idaho, most people do not even know rapini! I special ordered it at the local Albertson's last year. They would not display it. They did not tell me they had received it, though I asked every day, until most of the box had gone bad. I found a few green bunches buried in the middle of the box, which were wonderful. They threw the rest, which were yellow and soft, away. What a waste!

    I have never lived in a place before where meat cutters badmouth meat like they do here, either.

    Glad to see that you are keeping civilization alive in Toronto!


  3. Looks amazing and so yummy! Congrats on top 9 :)


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