Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta Salata and Prosciutto
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound dried orecchiette pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup julienned onion
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 10 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
- 4 to 6 ounces ricotta salata, coarsely grated
In a large soup pot or stockpot, bring 4 quarts of cold water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt and the orecchiette and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce.
While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet and, when hot, add the onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until onions are golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the prosciutto and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and black pepper and cook, tossing, until the broccoli rabe is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the drained pasta and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid and cook, stirring, until everything is heated through and well-combined. Remove from the heat and add the parsley, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and the ricotta salata; toss thoroughly to combine.
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