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Sicilian Sweet & Savory Bucatini with Broccoli Rabe

Sicilian Sweet & Savory Bucatini with Broccoli Rabe


  • Salt

  • 1 large bundle broccoli rabe or rapini, trimmed and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

  • 6 anchovy fillets, drained

  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 red finger chile pepper, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper

  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp. golden raisins

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • ¼ tsp. (a fat pinch) saffron threads

  • 1 lb. bucatini pasta

  • ⅓ cup (a handful) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • Freshly grated Pecorino Romano

  • ¼ cup pine nuts or 1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted


  • Step 1

    Bring 3 to 4 inches of water to a full boil in a large pot. Season with salt, add the broccoli rabe and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain. Refill the pot with 6 quarts water and bring to a boil for the pasta. Pat the broccoli rabe dry.    

  • Step 2

    In a large skillet, heat the oil, three turns of the pan, over medium. Add the anchovies; cook, stirring often, until they break down and melt into the oil, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, chile pepper, shallot and raisins. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot softens, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and wine, then the saffron; let it bloom in the sauce.

  • Step 3

    Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions, 7 to 8 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Add the broccoli rabe to the saffron sauce and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Add 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water to the sauce, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add the parsley; season with salt to taste. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with the cheese and nuts.