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Weekday dinner inspiration: Braised Broccoli Rabe With Pasta and more

This column is a mashup of Stir Crazy columns that ran in May 2009. New columns will resume next week.

Mon | Meatless meal

Orecchiette has got to be the cutest pasta on the market. It looks just like tiny ears. If you can't find it, use penne for Braised Broccoli Rabe With Pasta (recipe below). For those of you trying to go meatless one or two nights a week, this is an easy vegetarian recipe. Flavorful, too.

Tues | Chicken delight

Easy Chicken Parmigiana starts with boneless, skinless chicken breasts dipped in beaten egg, dredged in flour and sauteed on both sides in olive oil. Let brown in the oven-proof skillet, then cover with your favorite red sauce, slices of mozzarella and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Heat extra sauce and serve it all with pasta. Or sub steamed broccoli for the pasta.

Wed | Rotisserie Wednesday

Carve the bird into cubes and use for Chicken Cobb Salad. Pile a serving bowl with ice-cold iceberg lettuce then arrange, artfully of course, rotisserie chicken, sliced hard-boiled eggs, black olives, blue cheese crumbles, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons. Serve with a favorite dressing (we like a creamy Italian or even a blue cheese vinaigrette).

Thurs | Love them tender

Bay scallops are tinier and sweeter than their sea counterparts, and both will work in Baked Scallops Gratin as long as you quarter the larger ones. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place scallops with some white wine and melted butter in a shallow baking dish. Add some fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix a bit of melted butter with bread crumbs (I like panko) and a few shakes of Italian seasoning. Sprinkle over the top of scallops; bake for about 10 minutes and broil for 2 to crisp it up. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with green salad and bread to sop up the buttery juices.

Fri | Cheese and wine

Tuna sandwiches? On Friday pizza night? Not so like lunch if you make them Parisian style. Mix canned tuna with diced red onion, sliced hard-boiled eggs, chopped kalamata olives and sliced marinated artichoke hearts plus some of the marinade as a dressing. Pile the mixture on the best rolls you can find and garnish with sliced radishes and arugula. Fresh fruit on the side. Okay, so you'll still need to make pizza for the kids.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8586. Follow @RoadEats on Twitter.

>>EASY

Braised Broccoli Rabe With Pasta

1 pound broccoli rabe, tough stems trimmed

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

5 cups vegetable broth, reduced-sodium chicken broth or water

8 ounces whole wheat pasta, such as orecchiette or penne

teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see note)

Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling water until bright green and still crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Coarsely chop.

Combine oil, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a large pot; cook, stirring, over medium heat, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Add pasta and the broccoli rabe. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkled with walnuts.

Note: To toast chopped walnuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned,

2 to 4 minutes.

Serves 4 to 5.

Source: Eating Well magazine

Weekday dinner inspiration: Braised Broccoli Rabe With Pasta and more 05/12/14 [Last modified: Saturday, May 17, 2014 7:55am]

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