This is a recipe from the January 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine. See it here.

Gemelli with Broccoli Rabe and AnchoviesI made the whole version of this recipe, even though it serves 4 to 6, and I was feeding two (and a half) people. This recipe appealed to me because it’s in the “10-Minute Mains” category (quick to cook!) and the only ingredients I needed to buy were a bunch of broccoli rabe and a jar of anchovies. I know it calls for “gemelli” pasta, which are the corkscrews, but I had so many partial bags of various pastas on hand, I decided to use the whole jumble of shapes. Spaghetti, egg noodles, and gobbetti (a tubular spiral), and they were just fine. I weighed what I had, to make sure it added up to 1 lb.

As for the “panko,” which is lovely in applications such as coating a hunk of fish for a nice breading, I decided to use plain old breadcrumbs. When it comes to topping a pasta with breadcrumbs, I can’t help but think of my mom’s “St. Joseph,” where she heats and colors breadcrumbs with olive oil and garlic in a frying pan: very simple (and delicious). Using panko is a little too precious for me here. And it was honestly easier to use a frying pan rather than turning on the oven to bake the crumbs. Doesn’t that just seem like an exercise for a recipe test kitchen to exert its know-how? No thanks.

Another thing I did to make this recipe even quicker was put the 6 cloves of garlic in the food processor, rather than chopping them myself. When I heated the garlic and anchovies in the 7 tablespoons of olive oil -- which smells absolutely terrific -- I declined to add the dried hot red-pepper flakes, because I knew I would give a little bit of this pasta to my two-year-old son, and I didn’t want to turn him off from it. Instead, I added a sprinkle to the tops of the adult portions once they were plated. And this was just fine.

So this recipe was indeed quick and tasty. It made more than enough food for my two-and-a-half people. My son loved picking out the spaghetti noodles and eating them. He wasn’t brave enough to eat the broccoli rabe, but Dave loved it, after admitting his trepidations with the anchovies. I guaranteed him that the anchovies had melted into the oil, and served him a second helping.

RECIPE: recommended; conducive to leftovers
PREP TIME: quick
TASTE:
great

The next recipe I’ll try to make is called “Aunt Carol’s Spinach and Fish Bake,” from allrecipes.com. Check back here for my results on Monday, February 5. Maybe you could try to cook it too, and we could compare our experiences with my subsequent blog entry. Remember to leave your reply below, if you wish.