Orecchiette with Rapini, Mussels, and Romano

Use the mussel shells for eye appeal and to make a quick stock in this recipe from Barilla America. Toss with rapini (broccoli rabe) and orecchiette for an easy, light meal.

3 pounds Barilla Collezione Orecchiette
2 cups white wine
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
2 cups grated Romano cheese
100 mussels, scrubbed
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 pounds rapini, blanched and roughly chopped
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. Steam the mussels with the wine, covered, until they open, about 5 minutes. Discard any that do not open. Take out about half of the shells, leaving the remainder and the cooking liquid. Set aside.

For each serving, to order:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil and sauté a pinch of pepper flakes and a few slices of garlic until golden. Add a handful of rapini and sauté until just tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, reheat 1 cup pasta in simmering water. Drain and add it to the rapini with 4 mussels, 2 mussel shells, and some of their cooking liquid. Heat through and plate. Garnish with a generous 1 tablespoon Romano.