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Cacio e Pepe with Broccoli Rabe

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An accessible recipe that only needs a few ingredients, Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman sauce with pecorino-romano and black pepper. Broccoli rabe adds a good vegetal flavor and brightens the whole dish up. Broccoli rabe is cooked with the pasta, and then added to the sauce for a simple meal that doesn’t make any sacrifices on flavor.

Recipe by Jenn Louis

Jenn Louis has competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs,” and her simple, sophisticated cooking style, utilizing seasonal Pacific Northwest ingredients, has earned her two nominations for the James Beard Foundation Award of Best Chef: Northwest. Her debut cookbook, published in 2015, which was nominated for an IACP from the International Association of Culinary Professionals in the category of “Single Subject Cookbooks,” and her second book, The Book of Greens, debuted in April 2017.

Serves: 6
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 lb dried spaghetti
  • 4 oz ground pecorino-romano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp roughly ground black pepper

Directions

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1. Trim long bottom stems of broccoli rabe, about 4 inches, and discard. Roughly chop remaining leaves and thinner stems into 1/2” ribbons or strips. About 10 oz should remain. Set aside.

2. In a large pot of salted boiling water cook pasta until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and cook until pasta is tender to your likeness, about 4 additional minutes.

3. Using a fine mesh sieve or colander, drain pasta and broccoli rabe, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.  

4. Place pasta and broccoli rabe back into pot and stir over very low heat adding cheese, pepper and enough pasta water that the cheese becomes a soft sauce, about 2 minutes.

5. Divide pasta amongst plates and garnish with additional cheese.

Cacio e Pepe with Broccoli Rabe

Get the scoop on Broccoli Rabe: recipes, health benefits, & nutrition information. Learn more

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