This will be our 100th post!! I’m so proud of what this blog has become and I’m even more proud that our 100th post features a man who is so important in my life – My Dad!
My Dad has a few recipes in his collection that I never try to duplicate – this here is one of them. I just recently asked him for the recipe because I bought a bunch of rapini and I didn’t want it to go rotten (again). Something many people are surprised to learn about me is that I hate vegetables! I am a 3 year old child when it comes to eating vegetables. I really can’t explain why – when I was a child all I ate was vegetables! As I grew older I grew extremely picky so it’s hilarious that I was asked to cook on The Marilyn Denis Show Battle of the Experts where I had to cook a meal for a picky eater – you’d think I would win that hands down – well I didn’t! Anyway, this is one dish where vegetables don’t repulse me – it’s actually delicious!
Okay, back to my Dad….My Dad has run a successful HVAC business for the past 40 years and I believe a big part of the reason he is so successful is because he treats his employees like family; with respect and dignity. Most of them have been there for their entire careers. One way he does this is by serving his office staff a hot lunch almost once a week (when he’s not off being semi-retired on a golf course somewhere). One of his famous dishes is pasta with rapini. He prepares a huge portion in his tiny tiny office kitchen – it’s impressive how much food he pumps out of that kitchen! My father also hosts family night twice a month at his place with his wonderful companion Adelina. All of us together are 20 – that’s a lot of guests to feed! So, they are no strangers to cooking for large groups. He has a custom table in his kitchen that accommodates all of us! I’ve never seen such a huge table before!
This is one of my favourite dishes my father makes and I’m really happy to share it with you! I will share more of his famous dishes soon – when I work up the confidence to actually try and make them, that is!
My Dad’s Pasta with Rapini
Yields: 6 servings
1 bunch of Rapini, cleaned and cut into 2 inch pieces 450g of pasta (Penne Rigate or Bocconcini pasta works best)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 T olive oil1/4 pound of diced pancetta1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
S + P to tasteHot Pepper (optional)
Serve with sliced, toasted & herbed rustic bread (Recipe follows).
Fill a deep pot with 5 litres of water and bring to a boil.
In a separate pan, heat oil, add garlic and cook until golden (for hot pepper lovers – add the hot peppers in when cooking your garlic). Add pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the pancetta is crispy. Set aside until the pasta is ready.
Add rapini to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Then, add the pasta and salt and cook the pasta to “al dente”. Drain the pasta and rapini together. Put the pasta and rapini into a large serving dish. Pour the oil, garlic and pancetta mixture over the cooked pasta and rapini. Add breadcrumbs and toss until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Top with freshly grated Parmesan.
Sliced, toasted & herbed rustic bread: Slice a rustic baguette into 1 inch thick slices. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano and rosemary. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Serve bread warm with the pasta.
Food Styling & Photography by: Julie Miguel