Perciatelli with Broccoli Raab and Red Pepper Flakes

VEGAN WITHOUT THE CHEESE /// MAKES 4 SERVINGS

This is modeled on a classic Apulian dish (see Orecchiette with Broccoli Raab, below), but here, the broccoli raab is coursely chopped and it works better with the tubular perciatelli or bucatini. You have the option of using ricotta salata, Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, or goat cheese.
Make the Pasta with Vegetables (No Tomato Sauce) template with the following additional ingredients and specifications:

1 generous bunch broccoli raab (1 to 1¼ pounds)
Additional 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Blanch the broccoli raab (see this page) in a large pot of salted boiling water, keeping the pot of water over heat for the pasta. Coarsely chop and place in a bowl lined with paper towels.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet or wide saucepan and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle and smell fragrant, add the broccoli raab and salt and black pepper to taste. Stir together for a couple of minutes, until the greens are nicely infused with garlic and olive oil. Season to taste with more salt and black pepper, if you wish (the red pepper flakes have already contributed some spice). Remove from the heat and keep warm (you can also do this step while the pasta is cooking).
  3. Bring the water you used for blanching the broccoli raab back to a boil. Proceed with Steps 3 and 4 of the template recipe, using perciatelli or bucatini pasta, and topping the finished dish with 2 to 3 ounces of freshly grated ricotta salata, Pecorino Romano, Parmesan (or a mix), or 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese.

ADVANCE PREPARATION: You can prepare this dish through Step 2 and keep the cooked greens in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet, adding a little more oil and cooking water from the pasta to moisten.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS: Substitute other greens such as kale, beet greens, or Swiss chard for the broccoli raab.

VARIATION: ORECCHIETTE WITH BROCCOLI RAAB

For the iconic Apulian dish, use orecchiette for the pasta and chop the broccoli raab very fine, so that the pieces will settle into the “little ear”–shaped pasta.