Orecchiette w/ Broccoli Rabe & Pesto


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Orecchiette w/ Broccoli Rabe & Pesto

2 Pounds Broccoli Rabe, washed well in cold water.  Cut half the stems off, leaving about 8-inches long.  Cut into 2-inch pieces, removing peel from the stems does remove bitterness.
3 Tablespoons Kings Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
8 Ounces Pancetta, cut into small dice
¼ Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 Large Cloves Garlic, sliced thin
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Pound Orecchiette or Medium Shells
1 Jar (7 Ounces) Prepared Pesto
2 Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
3 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
½ Cup or more Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt to taste.  Add the broccoli rabe and cook for  2-3 minutes or until almost tender.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the pieces and reserve the water to cook the pasta.
2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add pancetta and cook until crisp around edges and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  There should be about ⅓ cup of fat, if there is more, push onions and pancetta to the sides and spoon off extra fat.  Cook over medium low heat and stir in red pepper flakes, garlic and broccolini and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile bring the broccoli rabe water back to a boil.  Add salt and the orecchiette, stirring frequently until al dente.  Drain well, reserving about 1 cup of cooking water. 
4. Add orecchiette to skillet and cook stirring to combine.  Add half the pesto with some of the cooking water. Stir to combine and taste. You may want to add more pesto or cooking water.
5. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and cheese, stir well and serve immediately.