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Risotto with Broccoli Rabe

What you need: 

1 cup arborio rice (don't use regular white rice)
1 can of vegetable broth, heated (heat the broth, not the can)
1 and 3/4 cup hot water
5-7 garlic cloves, chopped
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar (unrefined, if you got it)
1 bunch broccoli rabe, thick stems trimmed off (substitutions listed below)
2 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)
Salt, pepper to taste

What you do: 

Before cooking, go rent Big Night to watch with the meal later. Enjoy the long discussion about risotto and its merits in the movie. Appreciate how far that guy who played Antonio on Wings can go as an actor.
Now, if you're using pine nuts, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat for a minute or two until you can smell them. Set pine nuts aside for later.
Divide the oil equally among two separate skillets. In one, saute the garlic and broccoli rabe with the vegan sugar and a small amount of salt and pepper over medium heat about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the other skillet, saute the arborio rice in olive oil for a minute over medium heat. Then to the rice, begin adding hot liquid (start with either the broth or water or a mixture) 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid, then add another 1/2 cup. Keep up this process. Dont stop stirring. When you've added the whole of the liquid (which is 3 1/2 cups), the rice will be soft. Add the broccoli rabe and optional pine nuts to the rice. Serve immediately or the creamy texture of the dish will turn clumpy and icky. Risotto waits for no man, and, unlike revenge, becomes all clumpy and gummy when served cold.
No matter how tempting, don't use normal white rice. This is the second and last warning I will give you on the subject.
If you can't find broccoli rabe (a.k.a. broccoli rapini), feel free to substitute another green or your favorite vegetable. Broccolini, asparagus, regular broccoli, and spinach would all work well in this. Leave out the vegan sugar if you use a substitution; its only in there because the rabe is slightly bitter.

Preparation Time: 
45 min
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 


Hi, I wrote this recipe a while back and appreciate the comments.  One thing I learned since then is you can eliminate the bitterness of rabe/rapini by boiling it for just a minute or two.  Drain and discard the water.  No sugar needed. 


I made this with regular broccoli. I steamed it before and added it at the end. I followed the directions for the risotto except made 1/4 cup arborio rice and 3/4 cup water with mrs. dash. It came out great and was really quick. Thanks!

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