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Spicy Broccoli Rabe with Chickpeas and Ricotta Cheese
Spicy Broccoli Rabe with Chickpeas and Ricotta Cheese Erin McDowell

Bread and jam. Bacon, lettuce and tomato. Peanut butter and a drizzle of chocolate sauce on a spoon (right?). You gotta love a perfect food pairing. Along those lines, a new love triangle recently grabbed our attention: spicy broccoli rabe mixed with starchy chickpeas and topped with a dollop of creamy fresh ricotta. It’s a vegetarian meal, but that didn’t stop our meat-loving friends from asking for seconds.

Makes 6 servings

1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed (see Finishing Touches, below)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1½ cups cooked chickpeas

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

Kosher salt

1 cup ricotta cheese

1. Blanch the broccoli rabe: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the broccoli rabe and cook until it just begins to become tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer the broccoli rabe from the pot to a bowl of ice water. Drain well and reserve.

2. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and sauté until tender and heated through, 4 to 6 minutes. Toss in the chickpeas and season with lemon zest, lemon juice, red-pepper flakes and salt.

3. To serve, divide the broccoli rabe mixture evenly onto six plates, and top each with 3 to 4 tablespoons of ricotta cheese. Serve immediately.

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