Serves 3 to 4 / This colorful, zesty salad relies on traditional Italian flavors. The beans are briefly marinated in lemon juice and salt to bring out their flavor. To cut down on dirty pots and cooking time, the broccoli rabe is cooked along with the pasta. Broccoli rabe has a slightly bitter taste, which is balanced by the sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 to 10 minutes (depending upon type of pasta)
One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 large bunch broccoli rabe
8 ounces tricolored spirals or other medium-sized pasta
2 tablespoons roasted garlic-infused olive oil (see note)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Combine beans, lemon juice and salt in a plastic container. Cover and shake gently.
2. Wash and trim the broccoli rabe. Cut the stems into slices about 1/2-inch thick and set aside. Coarsely chop the leaves, leaving small florets whole.
3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until 3 minutes short of time indicated on package. Add the broccoli rabe stems to the boiling pasta and cook for 2 minutes. Add the leaves and florets and press them down under the water with a slotted spoon. Cook until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe in a colander. Rinse under cold running water and let drain thoroughly.
4. Transfer pasta and broccoli rabe to a large serving bowl or storage container. Stir in oil, reserved beans and lemon juice, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add black pepper, additional lemon juice and salt to taste.
Note: If you don't have roasted garlic olive oil, you may use plain olive oil plus a small clove of garlic, finely minced.