Fettucine and Broccoli Rabe
Italian Grandma’ Gina
In Her Adorable Broken English
Broccoli Rabe is one of my favorite things in the world and Italian Grandma’ Gina makes it in this recipe just the way I like it. And I love her broken English. Reminds me of people I grew up with.
Rapini, commonly marketed in the United States as broccoli raab or broccoli rabe, is a green cruciferous vegetable. The edible parts are the leaves, buds, and stems. The buds somewhat resemble broccoli, but do not form a large head. Rapini is known for its slightly bitter taste, and is particularly associated with Italian cuisine. Within the Italian tradition, the plant is associated especially with southern Italian cuisines such as those of Naples, Campania, and Apulia.
The young leaves of these plants as used in cooking are either the same as or the South European equivalent of turnip tops or turnip greens.
Rapini has many spiked leaves that surround clusters of green buds that resemble small heads of broccoli. Small, edible yellow flowers may be blooming among the buds. The flavor of rapini has been described as nutty, bitter, and pungent. The flavour is also reminiscent of mustard greens. Rapini is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.
The cultivated vegetable probably descends from a wild herb related to the turnip that grew either in China or the Mediterranean region. Rapini is now grown throughout the world, and is available all year long with a peak season of fall to spring.