Don’t you love it when a dish is “accidentally” vegan? That means the creator wasn’t overtly trying to conceive a plant-based dish, but it just so happened to come out that way. Win!
Today’s Rapini Pasta recipe is by the very talented Kaila Magnone, whose passion for cooking has led her to create many beautiful and tasty dishes, which I (Chantal) have had the pleasure of enjoying on many occasions – as I’m lucky enough to have her as my sister-in-law.
The beauty of this dish is that it captures the essence of Italian cuisine… using what’s fresh, in season, and locally available – you really don’t need a recipe when you cook within those parameters – fresh and uncomplicated food always tastes good. Kaila has been making this dish for many years, but it had never been formally written down… until now!
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
1 1/2 bulbs of garlic (yes bulbs!)
4 heads of rapini
1/2 c olive oil + 2 Tbsps
1.5 Tbsp hot chili paste
2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder (or more to taste)
500G package of pasta (we used penne)
- Peel and mince the garlic
- Boil rapini in unsalted water until stalks are tender (approx 10 mins.)
- Drain and press the remaining water out of the rapini
- Roughly chop the cooked rapini, and set aside
- In a large saucepan add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, 2/3 of the minced garlic, and heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble, then add the chopped rapini and sauté
- Add 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp of garlic powder to the rapini as it’s being sautéed and continue to cook on medium-high, tossing every 5 minutes using tongs, until the rapini is well browned and caramelized
- While the rapini is browning, bring your generously salted pasta water to a boil
- Once the rapini is done, leave on low heat while you cook the pasta “al dente” (approx 8 – 11 mins depending on the type of pasta)
- While pasta is cooking, in a small saucepan, heat 1/2 c of olive over medium-low heat, add the remaining minced garlic, hot chili paste, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, 1 tsp of sea salt, and cook until the garlic is tender and translucent (be careful not to burn the garlic) – this will be the dressing for the pasta.
- When pasta is done, drain and rinse well
- To the empty pasta pot, add 2 Tbsp of the warm garlic olive oil dressing, and add back the pasta, and toss to coat
- Add the rest of the garlic oil to the pasta, toss to coat the pasta well
- Add 1/2 of the cooked rapini to the pasta and toss to combine
- Plate the pasta, and top with more of the cooked rapini
I often make just the rapini component of this dish and use it in applications, such as a topping for pizza, quinoa bowls, and even in sandwiches!