If you’re like me, you are feeling this sense of RELIEF that a new year has begun. And, it’s not just for the usual psychological “new beginnings” or resolutions reason. It’s because of the lead up to this moment. The frenzy of food making and eating, from Thanksgiving through the entire month of December, IS, despite all its glut and glory, OVER.
I’m ready for a little stark reality—but it doesn’t have to be bland, does it? Look at this beautiful container of Olive Oil, a gift from our friends in Italy. They befriended Elio, the Tuscan grower and maker of this Bio-Dynamic Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It’s so fruity green and delicious. I love the label’s painting by one of his children, showing the olive harvest under the Shooting Star (Il Meteorite)
So, I’ve cooked up a quick pasta dish, with less pasta, more vegetables. It’s full of health and flavor: Whole Wheat Linguine from DeCecco. Leeks, garlic, a dice of sweet red bell. A few shreds of pecorino cheese.
I had originally been looking for Broccoli Rabe–broccoli’s wild cousin, but I ended up with the baby sister instead. It was a good choice.
The quest for bitter ended up sweet.
Whole Wheat Linguine with Broccolini, Pecorino, & Fruity Olive Oil
Your Favorite Fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch Broccolini–separate skinny flower ends from stems,
cut stems at an angle into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup chopped Leek
1/4 cup diced Red Bell Pepper
3 cloves Garlic, minced
Red Pepper Flakes pinch or two
1/4 box Whole Wheat Linguine (4 oz)
Pecorino Romano Cheese–not much, just for shredding
In a deep skillet, warm 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil. Stir in leeks, garlic, and red peppers. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and red pepper flakes, and increase to medium heat. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini stems. Saute for another 5 minutes and add the broccolini flowers. Add a little more olive oil. Cook for 3 more minutes and remove from heat.
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the whole wheat linguine according to package directions (about 10 minutes) Drain, reserving a little starchy pasta water.
Toss linguine with cooked vegetables, tossing well, until the veggies are distributed throughout. Taste for salt and heat. If it needs a little loosening, spoon in some of the reserved pasta water. Sprinkle with shredded pecorino and serve.
Serves 2 generously, or 4 sides
Happy Eating in 2010!