This post reminds me of being chased by Italian boys through the streets of Naples trying to pinch my bum (or worse!). Granted, I was sixteen at the time. I went with my friend Alina and her aunt, who was busy taking in the mud baths and assumed it would be fine for us to innocently roam the streets! Oh, if she only knew what nearly happened!
Rapini (also known as broccoli rabé or , “broccoletti” in Rome or “friarelli” in Naples is a common vegetable in the cuisines of southern Italy, especially in Naples. The flavor of rapini has been described as nutty, bitter, and pungent.
Rapini is often sautéed with garlic over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. In Umbria and other Central Italy regions, rapini is sautéed with garlic, chili pepper and guanciale (guanciale is an unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig’s jowl or cheeks) is a typical side dish for porchetta, grilled pork ribs and sausages and other pork dishes.
3 – 4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, coarsely diced
crushed red pepper
Separate the leaves. Pull the tender leaves from the stems. Cut the base of the stems and pull away the skin. Slice the stems. Place the rapini in fresh water, wash, and drain.
In a sauté pan place olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Turn heat to medium. Don’t allow the garlic to color.
Cover and sauté for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and remove when the rapini are tender. Serve hot or warm.
Tip: Normally rapini have a mild bitter taste. To eliminate part of the bitterness blanch them briefly in boiling water before sautéing.