Pasta With Creamy Walnut Sauce and Rapini (Broccoli Rabe)
cut in half, green shoot removed
shelled and toasted
olive oil, extra-virgin
rapini (broccoli rabe)
stems trimmed, or broccoli, broken or cut into small florets
such as orecchiette, farfalle or other pasta
pasta cooking water, reserved, more as needed
Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic.
When it is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, turn off and scrape down the bowl.
Add the walnuts and bread crumbs, and process to a paste.
Add the ricotta, 2 tablespoons warm water and Parmesan.
Pulse until well blended.
Add the olive oils, and process until smooth and homogenous.
Season with salt. Transfer to a wide pasta bowl.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water.
When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the rapini (broccoli rabe).
Boil about 4 minutes, until tender but still bright.
Transfer to the ice water.
Drain and chop broccoli raab medium-fine (regular broccoli need not be chopped). Set aside.
Bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta al dente, following the timing instructions on the package but checking a minute or two before the indicated cooking time.
Before draining the pasta, add ½ cup of the pasta cooking water to the ricotta mixture and stir until well blended.
The sauce should have a creamy consistency (add more of the pasta water if necessary).
Just before draining the pasta, add the broccoli rabe back into the pot with the pasta to heat, then drain.
Toss together with the sauce, and serve with shaved parmesan on top.