Wednesday, 11 November 2015


'What?!' I hear you my friends, loud and clear. You see I haven't heard of cime di rapa either until exactly 6 days ago.

Referred to as rapini or broccoli rabe these greens are favourited by Italians for their sweet albeit slightly bitter taste. I receive of fruit and veg basket every week from a local organic company, courtesy of my mother in law. Luckily these leaves came with a handy note which said that you can steam, boil or fry them and both stalks and leaves can be eaten. They could be used in any dish which calls for kale or spinach. Because of their short shelf life (only about a day or 2 in the fridge) I had to cook them pretty much straight away.
It was delicious. Simply and utterly heavenly.
Their sweetness came through and the mix of caramelised onions and ricotta cheese was divine.

Here is my recipe (Feeds 4 for a light lunch)

about 200-250gr cime di rapa leaves, no stalks, cut
1 small onion, cut finely
250gr ricotta cheese (I used Galbani)
salt and pepper
whole nutmeg
6-8 lasagne sheets
340gr can of chopped tomatoes
1tbsp tomato passata
1tsp sugar (I used brown granulated sugar)
50gr grated cheese (I used mild cheddar)

Fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add the greens and keep the heat on medium until just wilted. Turn off the heat and add the ricotta. Keep stirring until the cheese is incorporated well. Season well with the salt and pepper and a pinch of fresh nutmeg.
Put a thin layer of the mixture in your ramekin dish. Mine measures about 16cmx16cm . Put 2 lasagne sheets on top, trim to size if necessary. Repeat until all mix and sheets have been used. Finish with a layer of the mixture. In a jug mix the can of tomatoes with the passata, sugar and oregano. Pour it over the layers so they are completely covered. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake at 180C for about 25-30 minutes.

It can be served hot or cold.
I hope you like it.
Desi in the Kitchen 

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