Orecchiette with Fresh Tomatoes, Broccoli Rabe, Hot Honey & Pecorino
10-12 ounces orecchiette pasta, as needed
1 bunch broccoli rabe
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon hot honey (if you can’t find this, use regular honey and add a pinch of chili flakes)
extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
pecorino, as desired
Bring a large pot of lightly-salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta, reduce to a gentle boil and cook until al dente, usually about 1-2 minutes less than the cooking time suggested on the package. Drain the pasta (reserving the pasta cooking water). Run cool water over the pasta to cool it or transfer to a tray and allow it to cool. Toss the pasta with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil (you can reuse your pasta pot) with lightly-salted water. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water. Trim the thick ends off the broccoli rabe. Rinse the broccoli rabe well, then blanch for 60-90 seconds in the boiling water. Immediately plunge into the ice water to cool completely. Remove the broccoli rabe, draining it well on paper towels, gently squeezing out any excess water. Cut the broccoli rabe into ½-inch pieces.
In a large skillet, brown the butter until it smells nutty and become golden brown. Add the garlic, broccoli rabe and tomatoes, cook for a few minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Add ¼ cup of the pasta water and allow to reduce for a minute. Add the lemon zest, honey and drizzle of olive oil and taste for seasoning. Serve topped with grated pecorino.