Sophie's Foodie Files

Mostly healthy tasty colorful cooking & gardening with Sophie's twist!

Cime di rapa with pancetta, fusilli & home made simple tomato sauce, served with grated Parmesan Cheese

on 19/04/2009

Italian Cime di rapa!

A lovely Italian inspired dinner

On Sundays, I normally go to the market at the southern station in Brussels. ( Zuid Station ) in Dutch. This is a multicultural market. There are a lot of Italians, Moroccan, Turkish & Belgian vendors.

I always go to the same Italian vegetable & fruit vendor. He has excellent foodies goodies.
I was looking for Cime di rapa. Cime di rapa is a green winter vegetable, essentially from Italy. You can eat it’s leaves, the larger & the more delicate smaller ones. It’s taste is bitter & a bit peppery. It also has little stems with sprouting heads, like sprouting broccoli.
Cime di rapa is also known as broccoletti di rapa or rapini.
You can serve cime di rapa as you would spinach.
Recipe: For 2 persons, with seconds
800 gr fresh cime di rapa, the thick stalks removed, the dirty leaves cut off , well washed & spun dry
350 gr fusilli pasta
200 gr pancetta or other bacon, thinly sliced
the best olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
1 x 400 gr tin of peeled plum tomatoes
Maldon sea salt
grinned black pepper
zest of 1 washed lemon
fresh flat leaf parsley, washed, dried on kitchen paper & finely chopped
about 100 gr of Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Take a large non stick pan. Heat up on high.
2. When the pan is searing hot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped garlic & the pancetta. Stir well. Fry until lightly browned.
3. Now, turn the heat down on medium. Add the tin of tomatoes, their juices & a little salt. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir often. When ready, taste & season according to your taste.
4. In the meantime, you prepare the cime di rapa. Now, roughly chop the leaves with their stems & the sprouts.
5. Heat a large cooking pot on a high heat. Fill with hot water & bring to the boil. When boiling, add the pasta & a bit of olive oil. Boil until al dente. Drain. Keep warm.
6. At the same time, take a large cooking pot & fill with a bit of boiling water. Place the cut up cime di rapa & the cut up sprouts into the hot steam. Place the lid on & steam until al dente & tender. This will take about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain the remaing water & add the grated lemon zest, the cut up parsley & plenty of olive oil. Season with sea salt & a few grinds of black pepper. Taste.
7. Now, take the pasta pot & add the tomato sauce. Mix to combine. Taste again.
8. Now, take your plates & plate up! Serve the pasta in the sauce & besides that the green vegetable mix. Enjoy it like that or with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the top!
The Parmesan cheese takes a bit the bitter taste away!

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70 responses to “Cime di rapa with pancetta, fusilli & home made simple tomato sauce, served with grated Parmesan Cheese

  1. Anonymous says:

    MMMMM..Sophie! This pasta dish looks superbly yummie !!!!! Thanks!!

  2. Dirk says:

    Yum! I adore cimi de rapa: it is indeed bitter but I like it that way! Lovely recipe !!!

  3. I love bitter greens. I often toss sprouting broccoli in olive oil and salt and then roast in the oven… do you think it might be good for the cimi de rapa?

  4. clemence says:

    j’adore les pâtes… Merci pour la découverte !

  5. I do like rapini, and yours looks fantastic. I never find it with such nice, big leaves. And, with pasta, perfect!

  6. Beautiful cime di rapa and beautiful dish! Delicious!

  7. Maris says:

    Delicious! I happen to have pine nuts, pasta and ricotta..too good of a coincidence, I think!

  8. mmm… rapini is one of our favorite vegetables, but it can be hard to find here. this looks like a great way to prepare it!

  9. Carolyn says:

    Sophie,I love rapini! My father is Italian, so I grew up on it. You make your sauce similarly to mine. Sounds great!

  10. I think that’s what we call Broccoli Rabe here and I love it!

  11. Junglefrog says:

    I never saw that vegetable before! I am not sure if I would be able to find it here, but will have a look for it! Looks delicious!

  12. I love Cima Di Rapa! This meal looks delicious!Cheers,Rosa

  13. I could eat all of this. The pancetta puts it over the top! I wish wee had more multi-cultural markets here.

  14. Donna says:

    This looks like a beautiful dish.. absolutely are such an amazing cook!

  15. Pam says:

    A healthy and delicious dinner. Looks great!

  16. Oh goodness this fusilli looks sooooo delish — seriously, the simplest recipes are always the best. This fussili is on my to-do list for sure!

  17. Danielle says:

    Now that’s my kind of comfort supper! We have just recently discovered a reliable source for rapini and we just love it sauteed with olive oil, slivered garlic a little lemon and salt. Good and good for you!

  18. Olga says:

    looks delicious!Love the first photo!!!

  19. Cheryl says:

    Sophis I learn something new every time I come here, I love your dish!

  20. I’ve got such a craving for pasta now…

  21. Pancetta’s such a good find in pasta. So salty and crisp. Love this!

  22. Karly says:

    Ooh, I’ve never tried cime de rapa. I’ll be on the lookout for it!

  23. Sounds like a wonderful market! I love the colors on your plate.

  24. This is the perfect meal for me–my husband would want me to add sausage….Beautiful!

  25. Kerstin says:

    Oh yum Sophie – it looks amazing! I love the pancetta that you added too.

  26. Sapuche says:

    Ah, that multicultural market sounds very cool, and your dish, as always, looks delicious! It’s been years since I’ve had cime di rapa (or broccoli rabe, as I’ve heard it called where I grew up), but would love to try this!

  27. Peter M says:

    A very nice com combo…it’s important to get those greens in d the “cimi” are delish.

  28. Dawn says:

    Wonderful Sophie….I love new ways of using pasta since we eat so much of it on a weekely basis.

  29. Bunny says:

    Wow this is fantastic, thank you Sophie!

  30. Emily says:

    Yum! What a meal! This looks vibrant and delicious.

  31. Núria says:

    It’s my first time seeing cime di rapa but it sounds so healthy and interesting! I love veggies :D. And of course I love pasta and it’s lunch time…. Ai, ai… I would grab some of your fantabulous dish… only if I could ;D

  32. Nicisme says:

    I’d love to go to that market with you, sounds so wonderful!

  33. Jason says:

    This sounds so good! I just love fresh greens mixed into pasta’s and soups.

  34. Delicious, as always, Sophie! It looks so vibrantly colorful and thank you for giving us another name for this green vegetable. At first I wasn’t sure what it was but now I know I’ve seen it which means I can make it! 😎

  35. Jeanne says:

    Wow – that looks good! I’ve never seen these beet greens here – but then again I have never looked very hard! I am a great fan of miscellaneous greens, so I really should go on a bit of a search mission…

  36. Hayley says:

    This is wonderful Sophie! Italian food is the best, and there’s nothing better than pasta with a side of greens. So simple, but so comforting. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Koko says:

    I LOVE Rapini, this looks like a beautiful dish Sophie!!

  38. Daily Spud says:

    I’ve never had cime di rapa and, having seen this, I now really want to try it out 🙂

  39. I’ve never heard of this Sophie so thanks for introducing me to it! It looks delicious and healthy! 🙂

  40. Absolutely beautiful! I love bitter greens and you’ve definitely got the right balance on the plate there – not too many carbs! 🙂

  41. ooh .. this looks so so good. I have never hear of this veggie before nor tasted it. I’ll have to look out at the supermarket to see if they have it on the shelf.

  42. Filip says:

    Hey SophieHet is een fantastische groente, raapstelen! Je hebt er lekkere jonge in de bio-shop op de Kartuizer 🙂 Net nog een stoemp met gemaakt, zalig lekker!Het is een oeroude groente van deze streek ook, jammer genoeg in de vergetelheid geraakt. Thumbs up for “cime di rapa”, “raapstelen” or “rapini, or “brocolli rabe” 🙂 🙂

  43. Have a nice weekend!Cheers,Rosa

  44. Sophie says:

    Beautiful Sophie – this looks really tasty but healthy too. I don’t recognise the Cime di rapa – I wonder what name it goes by (if any) in England.

  45. ltraider says:

    Once again Sophie you have shown us another wonderful dish.

  46. Ricardo says:

    Brings out the Latin in me lol ,,, what a nice presentation and lovely light meal with a balance in flavours ..well 🙂 xxx

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