March 6, 2009

Hearty chiocciole with rapini fritti

Chiocciola is the cute word in Italian for snail. Nowadays you say ‘chiocciola’ in Italian a lot. Far more often than, let’s say, 15 years ago. I’m sure you are wondering why. I’ll give you an example of when we use ‘chiocciola’ in Italian, and then you will have a clue… even if you don’t speak Italian. If I say something like ‘daziano chiocciola mymail punto com’… does this tell you something? Well, we say chiocciola for @! Maybe this is the first time you actually realized that @ does look like a snail!!!

The other day I found some organic whole durum wheat chiocciole (a kind of large elbow macaroni, known as pipe rigate or lumache in Italy – lumaca is another word for snail). This chiocciole pasta is very flavorful with a perfect texture when cooked al dente and, of course, entirely wholesome! So, a perfect match for this hearty pasta is rapini fritti (sautéed broccoli rabe)!

Ingredients
1 lb chiocciole pasta
1 big bunch of broccoli rabe or rapini (or cime di rape)
1 garlic clove
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pecorino toscano cheese

Wash the broccoli rabe and discard the stems. Then soak the broccoli rabe in salted water for about 1 hour. Drain the broccoli rabe and pat it dry. Chop the broccoli rabe and sauté it in a saucepan with olive oil. Add the garlic, some salt and pepper and continue sautéing for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Boil the pasta. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and toss the pasta over the sautéed broccoli rabe. Add a nice touch of olive oil and give a quick stir. Serve with grated pecorino toscano cheese!

Tips

Chiocciole is pronounced /ˈkjɔttʃole/ something like ‘key-aw + cho-lay’

The name I knew for this kind of pasta was lumache. Apparently, chiocciole is the name chosen for the North American market.

This is also an entry for the 2nd Annual "Festa Italiana" hosted by Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita and Marie of Proud Italian Cook! We expect you to come in large numbers!

Posted by Daziano at 10:43 AM |  
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