"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Friday, April 27, 2007

Penne with Broccoli Rabe

Can you believe this is the first recipe I've cooked out of the "Pasta, Noodles and Dumplings" chapter? We're not big pasta eaters in our house. When we cook pasta, the first thing I do is check the box for bugs because it's been sitting around for so long. Dr. and Mrs. S don't care that much for pasta either, so I was thinking that about three years from now, when I've cooked my way through this cookbook, I'd be left with a long list of pasta dishes to finish the project off.

But yesterday afternoon when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner, he said "comfort food". And for Don, half Italian and half Jewish by birth, one hundred percent Italian by upbringing, comfort food means pasta. It also, inexplicably, means broccoli rabe, a vegetable I've never really made friends with. This man comes home with two bunches of it (that's two pounds, folks), sautes it with at least two pounds of minced garlic and red chili flakes, and eats it. All of it. He swears that if it weren't such hard work to cook he would eat it every single day. He is a strange man, my husband.

So how wonderful that the Gourmet Cookbook has a recipe entitled "Penne with Broccoli Rabe"! Perfect. Epicurious does not provide this recipe, but it's not rocket science. Cook the pasta in salted water, cook the chopped rabe in salted water (I used the same pot with a strainer divider), then saute the cooked rabe in XVO with previously sauteed garlic and red pepper flakes. Toss with pasta.

I liked it. Don loved it. I think what made me like it more than I thought was the extra step of boiling the rabe (which must draw some bitterness out) and then sauteing it. I also used a Trader Joe's penne that was basil and garlic flavored. All in all, not a bad way to step into the "pasta, noodles and dumplings" world.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog, and wanted to let you know I love it. I've been doing exactly the same project for a while now, and I love finding others on the same insane quest. You can check out my take on The Book at www.gourmetproject.ca . Good luck with this wonderful insanity.