Stewed Broccoli Rabe with Spicy Tomato Sauce

This pan-fried broccoli rabe is a pleasant departure from the standard version made with garlic and chiles, though it does include those ingredients. Ryan Hardy mixes the garlic and chiles, along with fennel, into a satisfying tomato sauce that balances the bitter greens and adds lovely color, too.


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  • Servings: 10

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  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • Two 35-ounce cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 4 pounds broccoli rabe, large stems discarded
  • Salt

How to make this recipe

  1. In a food processor, finely chop the fennel and carrots. In a large saucepan, heat 1/3 cup of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary and the fennel mixture and cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until the onions are very tender and starting to brown, about 25 minutes.

  2. Add the crushed red pepper to the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, about 10 minutes; discard the rosemary sprigs.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain and let cool, then coarsely chop.

  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer over low heat until very thick, about 15 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl and serve.

Contributed By Photo © Lucy Schaeffer Published January 2008

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