Lots of Broccoli Rabe, A Little Pasta

As much as I like cooking for other people, I REALLY like cooking for myself. It’s a chance to really tap into how I’m feeling in a particular moment, what I’m craving, and then to give myself exactly that.

There’s an actual an art to knowing what you want (believe me, I talk about it a lot in therapy). And one thing that I almost always want is pasta. If you’ve been following me for any period of time, you’ve probably noticed that I make a lot of it. Why pasta? Why is that my thing? I think it’s a blank canvas deal: you can dress pasta up any way that you want. Craving meat? Make a meaty pasta. Craving cheese? Make a cheesy pasta. And on Saturday night I was craving vegetables, so I decided to make a veggie-heavy pasta.

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Penne with Broccoli Rabe

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Broccoli rabe is usually the first thing I buy at the farmer’s market when the weather gets warmer. It’s a transitional vegetable: something that bridges us from the dark and murky vegetables of winter to the bright and sprightly vegetables of summer. Raw, it tastes rather fresh and green, but cooked, it takes on all these wonderful qualities–it becomes bitter and complex and, as Lydia Bastianich says when she cooks with it on this old episode of Julia Child: “almondy.”

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