Tag Archives: Cime di rape and orecchiette

Sicilian method of cooking pasta in the same water that the vegetables are cooked in

Food and recipes bring people together.

I have relatives who live in Sicily.  My cousins who are still living have sons and daughters who are in their 40’s and 60’s. These younger cousins (even if they are in their 40’s and 60’s)  use the internet and read the recipes that I publish on my blog. Some of them sometimes contact me through Facebook and  sometimes they suggest variations to particular recipes. I very much appreciate this.

Below are two comments made recently about cooking pasta in the same water that the leafy, winter, green vegetable (called Cime di Rape or Broccoli Rape) have been cooked in. on this occasion Valentina and Stefania contacted me.

Valentina lives in Augusta and is from my mother’s side of the family. Stefania, from my father’s side of the family lives in Ragusa. These young women have never met, but they now know each other through the recipes on my blog.

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Here are the variations they have suggested:

Valentina

Marisa ti do la mia ricetta. Si fanno bollire le cimette ben pulite e si scolano, nell’acqua di cottura si fa cuocere la pasta (di solito orecchiette), nel frattempo si fa rosolare in olio extra vergine d’oliva un paio d ‘acciughe dissalate e le cimette e si fanno saltare in padella x qualche minuto …poi si unisce la pasta et voile’ la pasta è fatta!

Boil the Cime di Rape in the same water that you will cook the pasta (usually orecchiette).

Add the cleaned vegetables to salted boiling water, cook and drain them. Return the vegetable water to the saucepan and use it to cook the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking and the vegetables are draining, heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frypan (large enough to hold the vegetables and the pasta).

Add a couple of finely chopped anchovies, then the green vegetables and sauté them for a few minutes. Add the drained pasta and the pasta is ready.

 

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Stefania

Oltre alle acciughe (una ogni due persone, se sono grandi) aggiungi spicchi di aglio , peperoncino rosso. Salta la pasta e se vuoi aggiungi pan grattato.

As well as the anchovies (one between two people if they are big ones), add cloves of garlic and red chillies to the hot oil. Add the green vegetables and the cooked pasta (and sauté them for a few minutes to mix the flavours).

Serve the pasta with fried breadcrumbs (that have been toasted in a frypan in a little extra virgin olive oil).

Both Valentina and Stefania cook the pasta in the same water that the vegetables have been cooked in. The same is done when cooking pasta with kohlrabi or cauliflower or broccoli and although I am familiar with this traditional Sicilian method, I prefer to sauté my vegetables raw rather than boiling them (to preserve vitamins and crunch).

Pasta con the sarde or Pasta con la mollica are the only two recipes where I always cook the wild fennel in the water that will be re-used to cook the pasta. It flavours the pasta and also tints it a shade of green.

Both of these pasta dishes are also presented with fried breadcrumbs.

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For recipes see:

Pasta con Le Sarde (Pasta with Sardines, From Palermo, Made with Fennel, Pine Nuts and Currants)

Pasta with Breadcrumbs, Anchovies and Fennel (Pasta Cca Muddica)

Kohlrabi with Pasta – A Wet Dish (Causunnedda Che Cavuli )

Edible Weeds: Orecchiette e Broccoletti Selvatici (and Cime di Rape)

Cime di Rape (a Winter Green)

One of My Favourite Vegetables – Cime di Rape

The bunch of green vegetables in the front are Cime di Rape.

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ONE OF MY FAVOURITE VEGETABLES – Cime di Rape

I call these greens (as my parents did) Cime di rape – literally translated as turnip tops. You may also see them named as Cime di rapa. This is not a mispelling: rapa is the singular and rape is the plural and I guess in my family we called them rape because we ate the tops from more than one turnip.

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You may also see or hear them  referred to as broccoli rabe, or friarielli or broccolleti or rapini – same vegetable, but called by different names in various parts of Italy. These mustard greens are mainly grown and appreciated in southern Italy.

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I very much like this bitter green; it is sold in bunches, and is very much in season now (autumn through to winter).

I have written about this mysterious, leafy vegetable before. I eat them often and sauté  them in garlic and chilli either as a pasta sauce or as a contorno – a side vegetable.

Usually I use orecchiette – the ear shaped pasta from the region of Italy known as Puglia. This time, having run out of orecchiette I used penne instead (a brave thing to admit!)

I always present the pasta with pecorino rather than parmesan cheese.the strong taste of the greens requires a strong cheese.

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See:

Cime di rape

Orecchiette e broccolleti selvatici

Rape (turnips)

Enter cime di rape in the search button on the blog and this vegetable will be mentioned in several other posts.

Substitute the cicoretta (chicory) with cime di rape.

 

 

IN PRAISE OF WINTER VEGETABLES

How I love winter vegetables. Come to think of it, I love all vegetables!!!

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These are some of the seasonal vegetables I bought last week from the Queen Victoria Market and I always make the most of them.

Although the seasons have become blurred and are becoming even more so (changes in climate, new strains of seeds, faster and better refrigerated transport) I still look forward to seasonal vegetables and tend not to buy them out of season.

What I did with the above vegetables and the recipes (click on the links)

I stuffed the Artichokes with ricotta, almond meal and pistachio.

The Cime di rape were cooked with orecchiette.

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The KALE was braised with garlic and eaten as a side vegetable. The left over cooked kale went into LENTIL SALAD

The CAVOLO NERO went into a soup.

The Frisée went into a mixture of leaves for salad.

I used half of the Celeriac raw with some rocket (dressed with homemade mayonnaise) and the rest I cooked and made a mash with cooked potatoes (Ratio: more potato than celeriac- I used 3 medium cooked potatoes and ½  cooked celeriac, butter and milk or cream, salt and pepper).

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With the left over potato and celeriac mash, I added garlic, extra virgin olive oil and a little warm vegetable stock and made a Skordalia  with a difference. There is no celeriac in skordalia and I am probably offending many fine makers of skordalia (those from a Greek culture), but it tasted great. The pink peppercorns I grounded on top also made a difference. I presented it with  Sardinian carta di musica (music sheet)- a yeast-free, paper-thin bread.  It is called pane carasau in Sardinian.

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The red radicchio was made into a salad with canned tuna, cooked borlotti and red onion (Recipe from my book: Small Fishy Bites).

The fennel was braised and topped with TAPENADE

SEE: RADICCHIO, TUNA AND BORLOTTI SALAD and BRAISED FENNEL WITH TAPENADE

You will find other recipes for some of these vegetables on my blog: key into the search button the name of the vegetable you are looking for, and different recipes should come up.

In this photo there are artichokes, fennel, celeriac, kale, cavolo nero, red radicchio and a baby endive (which is sometimes called curly lettuce or frisée).

QUEEN VICTORIA MARKET (Carmel and Gus’s stall in B Shed, Stall 61- 63)