Lia’s Pasta Salad with Salami, Pecorino, and Broccoli Rabe

*Content and photos updated July 2012*

This was first inspired by a salad made for a BBQ by a new addition at my  team at my former place of work. Follow that? No need, really. All you need to know that this salad is yummy, travels well, and I’ve made it a half a dozen times for cook-outs and the like. Both the simple and bold flavors make it a perfect summer party salad.

Lia’s Pasta Salad with Salami, Broccolini, and Pecorino Cheese
Serves 8-10
Just the Tip / Inspired by Lia

What I used:

  • 1 pound of farfalle (I used Barilla Plus whole grain pasta)
  • 1 hunk of salami (Trader Joe’s), cut into chunks
  • 1/2 pound or so of pecorino cheese (use the tip of a sharp knife to crumble the cheese)
  • 1 bunchbroccoli rabe, stems removed and discarded and leaves chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt and lots of black pepper

Here’s what I did:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, salt it heavily and add the broccoli rabe. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then scoop the broccoli rabe out into a strainer in your sink. Rinse with cool water and set aside. Bring the pasta water back up to a boil and add pasta. Cook for 1 minute shy of the package instructions.
  2. While that’s happening, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the red pepper flakes and the garlic and let them infuse the olive oil until the garlic is a light golden brown. When the pasta has about 5 minutes left, add the broccoli rabe to the garlic oil and raise the heat to medium/medium-high. Season with salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. When the pasta is done (al dente, please), toss it with the rabe in the saute pan for about a minute. Add a few tbsp of pasta water and set aside to cool.
  4. Once cooled, toss in the salami and cheese, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
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