As far as taste and texture go, this one checks all the boxes:

  • Bitter and slightly crunchy from the broccoli rabe;
  •  Salty from the prosciutto;
  • Tart from the lemon and wine;
  • Sweet and creamy from the goat cheese.

Better yet, it uses a refrigerator and pantry full of staples and can be whipped up in about 30 minutes.

Which makes it perfect for nights like tonight, when tiny ghosts and princesses come calling for candy.

Happy Halloween!

‘Boo’ Pasta

This is a mashup of the dish my mother-in-law used to sneak from my dinner plate and an ancient casserole recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. It’s infinitely adaptable: Use any sturdy greens for the broccoli rabe; substitute Parmesan for the goat cheese; leave out the prosciutto for a hearty vegetarian entree.

  • 12 ounces corkscrew pasta
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 ounces goat cheese

Prepare the pasta according to package directions.

Bring the cup of water to a boil and soften the porcini in it. Once the mushrooms are soft, remove them from the liquid and give them a rough chop. Reserve the soaking liquid.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then saute until tender.

Add the prosciutto, lemon zest, chopped porcini, mushroom soaking liquid, wine, broth and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes — just ’til the flavors combine.

rabe-sauce

Add the broccoli rabe and stir well.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the 1/2 cup of water. Pour the slurry into your saute pan and stir well. Bring the liquid to a boil again, allowing the mixture to thicken.

Add the dill and lemon juice, then taste and adjust your seasoning if needed.

Spoon the pasta into the sauce. Stir well, then sprinkle the goat cheese on top.

Serve immediately.

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