#ItalianFlavors :: The Broccoletti Meditation (with recipe)


Broccoletti ©OrsolaCirielloKogan
Broccoletti ©OrsolaCirielloKogan

This year I chose to keep my new year resolutions as basic as possible: rise early, meditate and eat healthy(ish). Hoping to be persistent and thinking that I could always add up to the list 😎

Best tip? “Start easy. I’ve learned to put my lofty goals aside and start with the easy-peasy” ~Christian Allaire

  1. Rising early? It’s doable.
  2. Eating healthy(ish)? So far so good.
  3. Being consistent with meditation?

Oops. What if I’m practicing mindfulness while cooking, it’s that time of the day that offers a wonderful opportunity of being present and ponder (or not)… 😳
While ruminating about it, I remembered of a big bag of broccoletti (broccoli rabe) from my family kitchen garden, in waiting to be trimmed.

Broccoletti + meditation?

I decided to give it a try during the prepping chore… OM!
It actually worked and it’s not that unusual to looking at cooking as a meditation practice.

“Cooking it’s something that one does. It’s not a consideration of an action. It’s not a thought about a result. It’s doing in the here and now” ~Greg Stegeman

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Broccoli rabe are sold under a variety of names, including broccoli raab, rapini, bitter broccoli, turnip broccoli. In Italy we call it broccoli di rapa o cime di rapa (which means “turnip tops”).
To ensure freshness you’ll need to go to farmers markets, or specialty stores to find it. Look for bunches with large, dark green leaves (no yellowing).

Once cooked there is something sexy about them.
In the middle of each bunch, protected by some bitterly delicious green leaves, lays a mini bouquet of tender florets, with its mellow sweetish bite. And please don’t over cook it!

When in season here is my family favorite fast lunch recipe: Spaghetti e friarielli (spaghetti with stir fried broccoli rabe, topped with some grated ricotta salata), a cornerstone of Neapolitan cooking.

Appetibilis Recipes: Spaghetti and Broccoletti

  • servings: 4
  • time: 1 hr (including trimming time)
  • difficulty: easy

Ingredients

  • 350 g Spaghetti (in my case are GF)
  • 700 g Broccoletti (roughly 2 bunches of broccoli rabe to be trimmed)
  • 1 clove of Garlic (peeled and lightly crushed)
  • 40 mL Organic Unrefined Sunflower oil
  • 1 Tbsp Coarse sea salt (this one goes into water to cook pasta)

Seasoning

Fine sea salt and black pepper to taste (preferably freshly ground)
Aged Ricotta (a salty ricotta aged about 60 days to be grated on pasta at serving time)

Special note: How to trim broccoli rabe

Trimming it’s a rather easy task, (the stalks, leaves, and blossoms of the plant are all edible). In the “interesting links” section below there is a post where they got it covered.

Cooking time

In a shallow frying pan heat some of the oil, add the garlic and let it sit to color. Add the broccoletti, 1/2 cup of water (around 125 mL), cover with a lid and allow to cook for about 15 minutes, turning frequently.

In the meantime. In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil, add the coarse salt, drop the spaghetti and cook it according to package directions.
(Note: please keep it al dente).

Back to our broccoletti. Once the water is gone, remove the lid, check the tenderness of the veggies, season to taste. Keep it stand by for sauteing with pasta.

Drain the spaghetti and transfer them in the fraying pan. If needed, add some more oil and/or cooking water, stir to combine. Season to taste, top with ricotta and serve.
(Note: please save about a glass of cooking water just in case you may need it for sauteing)

Bon Appetibilis!


Interesting links:

Broccoletti ©OrsolaCirielloKogan
Broccoletti ©OrsolaCirielloKogan

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