Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Penne with rapini, anchovies, and bread crumbs

I was working late at the library tonight. Usually I would just get a burrito for dinner, but I had one for lunch and didn't feel like having a second one for dinner. I didn't have too much at home, but I figured I could, at the very least, whip up some sort of pasta dish. After a bit of foraging, I settled on rapini, a stale baguette, and anchovies as the main components for the dish.

Start by heating up a pot of water for the pasta, rinse the rapini and trim off the stems, mince two cloves of garlic, and chop up a few anchovies. To make bread crumbs, smash the stale bread into smaller pieces and transfer to a food processor to finish it off. Toast the bread crumbs in a pan with some olive oil and about 1/2 of the garlic.
When the water is boiling, salt the water and then drop the penne. Set a timer for 8 to 9 minutes. In a separate pan, cook the remaining garlic with the anchovies and some red pepper flakes in some olive oil.
Once the garlic gets to a golden brown color, add the rapini and toss. Add a splash of white wine to this mixture.
When the pasta is done, toss it in with the rapini mixture along with half of the bread crumbs and a grating of Parmessan or Pecorino.
Plate and top with more cheese, the remaining bread crumbs, a drizzle of high quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil (preferably Tuscan), and pepper. This all should take about 20 minutes max.

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