Enjoy Pasta Aglio Olio with Broccoli Rabe!
We do love our pasta dishes but there are days that you’re just not in the mood for red sauce. Lisa loves my aioli sauce but to me, just plain pasta aioli isn’t very exciting. And that’s how I came up with this version containing broccoli rabe.
One of my favorite ingredients to add to my Pasta Aioli is Broccoli Rabe and of course, it never hurts to find an interesting pasta shape to change things up a bit too. For this dish, I turned to one of my favorites, Riccioli from Wegmans Italian Artisan line of pasta. In Italian Riccioli translates to “little curls” which is a unique type of Fusilli that is traditionally made with a spindle-shaped tool called a “ferretto”. This type of pasta most commonly comes from Southern Italy and is great for holding sauce, which made it a good choice for aioli.
Feel free to use anyt ype of pasta you have on hand. Shapes or spaghetti will all work well.
In the Philadelphia Region when you ask for an Aioli sauce with your pasta don’t expect a mayonnaise style garlic sauce, as in a provincial French sauce, because what you’ll get is a light sauce made of chopped garlic, lightly sauteed in an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with a few crushed red pepper flakes, Italian parsley and a sprinkle of sea salt.
That sauce would be referred to as Aglio Olio in Italy, but more than likely it was just a little too much to pronounce in the Philadelphia kitchens and got shortened to Aioli. You won’t find any egg yolks in it, no anchovies, and never any grated cheese……although grated Romano will usually be added after it’s served unless of course, you’re a purist who says never mix olive oil with cheese. I, of course, will add cheese to just about anything, and believe me when I tell you, you’re going to love it with this pasta dish!
Whether you serve this as a main course or a side dish, it will be a welcome addition to your table. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a salad and you’ve got a meal you’ll not soon forget…..just don’t forget the grated cheese!
If you don’t have broccoli rabe on hand use any of your favorite vegetables or a combination of your favorite vegetables.
You can also add:
- chicken (add any leftover chicken meat you may have on hand or use boneless breast or thigh meat)
- seafood (shrimp, salmon pieces or any other type of seafood you like)
- pesto (any type of pesto would make a great addition)
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