Place a pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil for pasta. Cover pot to bring water to a boil. Salt the water to season it and add half a pound of "little ears" pasta. Cook to al dente, about 7 minutes.
Trim ends off broccoli rabe, coarsely chop it and add it to a deep skillet. Add 2 or 3 cups of water to the pan. Cover the pan and bring the broccoli rabe to a boil. When the rabe wilts down into the pan, salt it. Simmer the rabe for about 7 minutes until tender and no longer bitter. The color should remain deep green. Drain the rabe and reserve. Return the deep skillet to the stove and place it over medium heat. Add 5 turns of the pan of extra-virgin olive oil, chopped garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and saute 2 to3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broccoli rabe and turn to coat them in garlic oil. Drain pasta reserving 3/4 cup of pasta water. Add the pasta and water to the pan. Toss pasta and broccoli rabe with lots of grated cheese, salt and pepper, to your taste. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray