Monday, February 22, 2010

Hope for Haiti and Orecchiette with Broccoli Raabe

 
February 21-28
The earthquake that struck Haiti January 12 of this year changed lives forever and left most of the world wondering how they could help as the full extent of this horror unfolded before our eyes as the news trickled out. Such devastation to such a vast area and a sense of helpless to not be able to get the help so desperately needed there fast enough. The needs are still great and even though you have probably already given something to help, BloggerAid Changing the Face of Famine (BA-CFF), have decided under the guidance of Jeanne of CookSister to have an on line raffle to raise money  for Concern Worldwide's relief effort for Haiti.  This event is especially close to my heart, as my brother survived being buried under the rubble of the Hotel Montana. He had arrived as part of a team whose focus was to improve Haiti's medical services and agricutural future, meeting with other organizations to reach these goals. Having survived and mostly recuperated, he is currently back in Haiti this week to continue with his work there, attending the meetings that didn't happen as a consequence of the earthquake but are still on going to bring a better standard of life to the Haitian people. You can read my tribute to him here  and his account with links to his work here.
Hope for Haiti is another opportunity to help make a difference in peoples lives. The online raffle has a lot of interesting prizes, so head over to CookSister here, to learn all about it and how to bid on some of the prizes. The raffle tickets aren't very expensive, roughly around $10 dollars, and you just might win some thing, but you will certainly be helping out someone that could use a helping hand.

Here's a seasonal pasta dish to keep you going, easy on the budget, comes together in a flash and oh so satisfying. I love these spicy greens and never seem to get enough of them. Look for them if you've never had them. They're  great  just boiled and seasoned although they mix well with other greens for  the type of greens I grew up on, which of course, were generously seasoned with the bacon fat from the faded pink metal lidded can that always sat on the stove, collecting the grease that would find it's way back into so many different dishes, till it got retired later on when Mom tried to cook more healthfully for her and Dad.

Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa 
Serves 4
  • 1# (500g) orecchiette or  other short pasta
  • 2#  (1kg) Cime di rapa also known as broccoli raabe, or other greens with a bit of a kick like mustard greens
  • 3-4 Tb (60ml) olive oil
  • 4-5 medium garlic cloves
  • 1-2 small chile peppers or 2 tsp dried chile pepper or to taste
  • salt 
Wash the greens and pat dry.
Cut the woody bottoms off and cut up the stalks into 4 cm (1-1/2 inch)  pieces to the top.
Bring a pan of salted water, large enough to hold the greens. Taste the water to make sure it is salty enough.
When it comes to a boil, plunge the greens in and cook till soft, but still bright green.
Remove the greens and set aside.
Bring the water back to a boil. Add more water and adjust the salt if more is needed to cook the pasta.
Cook pasta al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, saute the garlic and pepper in the olive oil for a few minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Whole peppers have less fire than powdered chile
Add the greens and cook a few minutes more. Remove the chile peppers if whole and adjust seasonings.
Add the drained pasta to the pan and toss all together.
Serve immediately.
Do make sure you don't miss this winter time treat!

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