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Sicilian Sardine and Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Photo credit: Susan of Food Blogga

Sicilian Sardine and Broccoli Rabe Pasta  
Today's recipe was adapted from one by Susan of Food Blogga, which as she says, is “Rhode Islandese for Food Blogger.”

Serves 4

1 medium bunch broccoli rabe (or broccoli)
2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons raisins (soaked in a little water or white wine)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 cans Vital Choice Boneless-Skinless Sardines in organic EV olive oil, drained
2 teaspoons lemon juice (preferably Meyer lemon)
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
16 ounces rigatoni

  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Boil broccoli rabe for 1 1/22 minutes; drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water briefly to maintain its vivid green color and stop the cooking.
  • Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with some dry white wine. Let them soak about 10 minutes to become infused with the flavor of the wine.
  • Crush the pine nuts. In a small, dry skillet over medium heat add the pine nuts, stirring until they are golden and aromatic, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add garlic and shallots, sautéing 2‒3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Drain the broccoli rabe, pat dry, and add to the skillet.
  • Meanwhile, drain the sardines. Using a fork, break sardines into bite-size chunks and add to the skillet. Add the drained raisins, lemon juice, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and salt. Sauté 1‒2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
  • Cook pasta in salted water according to directions, being sure to keep it al dente. Add cooked pasta to the skillet with the broccoli rabe mixture, and toss in the toasted bread crumb mixture and fresh parsley.
  • Plate the pasta, finishing it off with a drizzle of olive oil.

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