As much as I love east Tennessee, it's not a hot spot for new food trends. It's only been in the past few years that we've gotten some great sushi places. I've never seen mache sold in a store around here and while I probably could have found broccoli rabe if I had actively searched for it, our local Krogers(the Fellini Krogers as many of us call it) never carried it. So I grew it. It's a quick growing crop and the recipe below is very tasty.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed (I used 1/4 cup)
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and slivered
1 cup bread crumbs, preferably homemade
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (I used Aleppo pepper)
About 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and washed
1 pound spaghetti, linguine or other long pasta
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When oil is warm, cook garlic just until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs and red pepper flakes and cook until bread crumbs are golden, 5 minutes or so. Remove and set aside.
2. Cook broccoli rabe in boiling water until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well and chop. Cook pasta in same pot.
3. Meanwhile, add remaining oil to skillet over medium-low heat. Add broccoli rabe and toss well; sprinkle with salt and pepper. When it is warm add garlic and bread crumbs and mix well.
4. When pasta is done, drain it, reserving a little cooking water. Toss pasta in skillet with broccoli rabe mixture, moistening with a little reserved water if necessary. Adjust seasonings and serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.