This is one of my favourite Pasta recipes. I use good gluten free pasta instead of the regular pasta for this dish. The freshness of the mint and the hit from the chili go well with the broccoli. The parmesan and soft mozzarella add a creamy dimension and brings the pasta dish together.
Rapini is an asian form of broccoli. It's very healthy and can be used in a variety of dishes. This pasta dish is super easy to make and can be cooked in 10 minutes (as long as you've done your prep ahead of time) As this dish is made right in the frying pan, I suggest making a couple servings at a time. Too much pasta may be difficult to work with but if you make it in single or double servings, everyone will get equal quantities of ingredients.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Tip: when making pasta, use one liter of cold water and 1 tsp of salt per serving. Add salt only after water has started to boil. Stir in a handful of pasta and boil to el dente stage. Strain but do not rinse! Save a bit of the liquid for the sauce as this will help moisten the pasta and create a lovely light sauce. While the pasta is boiling, get started on your bacon rapini medley.
Bacon Rapini Medley (enough for two portions)
- 1/4 bunch rapini, cut into 1 inch pieces, blanched in boiling salted water for about a minute and cooled. Should be bright green in color, firm and not mushy.
- 1 - 2 rashers of bacon, chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Garlic clove sliced
- Pinch of chili flakes
- 1-2 balls of soft mozzarella (boconcini) diced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Handful of roughly chopped mint
Heat olive oil on low heat and lightly brown bacon. Add sliced garlic and chilies and cook for about a minute. Toss in rapini and then followed by the pasta, cheeses and mint. Add a few tablespoons of reserve liquid and toss everything to coat. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon if desired.
The cheese will continue to melt once on the plate due to the hot ingredients. Watch for a cool stretching effect off the mozzarella. This effect makes eating a bit more fun - especially for the kids. Plus it's a great way to get them eating their veggies.