Monday, February 8, 2010

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe Bolognese

When J was out of town, I spent the week cooking meals I knew he wouldn't like very much. The artichoke soup was one of them. He also find broccoli rabe to be too bitter in most recipes. I don't know what it is about broccoli rabe, sometimes I find it too bitter and other times it doesn't bother me. It doesn't matter if I blanche it before I use it or not it varies on the bitterness. This recipe I'm sure would have been too bitter for J. This is a Weight Watchers recipe that I changed slightly. I ate it for several different meals. The beef was a welcome protein that we haven't used much lately (on the BL challenge we have been trying to limit it more than before). I don't cook with beef a lot in general but I know J has been eating more bison and poultry for his lunches. I try to buy very lean beef when available. I also tried a different shape of pasta (the recipe called for penne but this is pipette.

On a side note, I've been reading some other blogs and some insights about why people blog. Sometimes blogging seems like a very egocentric activity. Trying desperately to be heard by the masses. I think that for me however, I am using the blog as was way of documenting my food experiments. The blog puts all my opinions in one place and gives me a photo history of the cooking experiences I am having.

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe Bolognese (adapted from Weight Watchers)

1/8 tsp table salt, for cooking pasta

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup(s) onion(s), chopped

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 pound uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)

2 1/2 tsp fennel seed, crushed

28 oz canned tomato puree

1/4 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

12 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta, penne rigate suggested

1 bunch broccoli rabe, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add beef and fennel seeds to pan; cook until browned, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir in tomato puree, salt, red pepper flakes and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. While sauce simmers, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions, adding broccoli rabe to pasta water 5 minutes before pasta will be done; cook until pasta and broccoli rabe are tender.
  5. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe; return to pot. Add sauce; toss to mix and coat.

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