- 1 large bunch rapini (broccoli rabe), cut into 2-to 3-inch pieces
- 6 tablespoons EVOO
- Salt and pepper
- A pinch freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 1 pound strozzapreti, cavatelli or penne rigate
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Fresno or other red chile pepper-stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (about 1/2 palmful) fennel seed
- 1 cup grated provolone piccante
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees . Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
In a large bowl, toss the rapini with 3 tbsp. EVOO. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; scatter on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast until the rapini is crispy on the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.
When the rapini is almost done, salt the boiling water and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tbsp. EVOO over medium, three turns of the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, chile, paprika and fennel seed; cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pasta cooking water to the skillet and stir.
Add the pasta and the roasted rapini to the skillet. Toss and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the cheese.