All the female members of my household have been sick recently. My youngest daughter is just over strep throat, I have an annoying head cold, and my oldest daughter is suffering from a nasty sinus infection. There have been trips to the pediatrician, the pharmacy, and the grocery store, and each time, we are looking for something to soothe, comfort, and nourish. We have picked up the saline spray and the antibiotics, the cranberry juice and the ginger ale, the cough drops and the humidifier. But a good supper also does wonders to make everyone feel more comfortable, loved, taken care of, and pasta is just the thing in this household. And to go along with the pasta, what could be healthier than some greens and lots of garlic. This is one of our favorite pasta dishes, and just for tonight, we all curled up on the family room couch, with our steaming bowls of pasta, a blanket on our laps, comforted by the closeness of being together in our cozy house on this cold, rainy fall night. We could almost feel the vitamins and minerals making us healthier and stronger, which is a good thing because the only one left to get sick is the man of the house, and ladies, we will need our strength for that!
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Spinach and Feta:
1 lb hot, cooked linguine
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, trimmed and washed well
1 large bag of baby spinach
4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
pinch of red pepper flake
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2- 3/4 cup chicken stock
1 generous cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Romano cheese
8-12 oz. chopped tomatoes or canned chopped tomatoes
In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the broccoli rabe for 2-3 minutes (this softens the broccoli rabe and takes away some of the bitterness). Drain and run under very cold water to stop the cooking. In the meantime, put the olive oil and the garlic in a large skillet, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the garlic has softened and mellowed. Add the red pepper flake, stir to mix. Add the broccoli rabe and turn the heat up to medium low. Add the chicken stock, and stir the broccoli rabe. When the chicken stock is very warm, add the spinach and stir until wilted. Add the tomatoes, and let cook together for 6-8 minuted to combine flavors. Toss the greens and tomatoes with the hot pasta in a large bowl. Add the feta cheese and toss to coat evenly. Serve with grated Romano cheese on top.