How to Make an Authentic Italian Dinner for less than $5

4 years ago

Three years ago, I vacationed in Italy with two girlfriends and the moment my feet hit Italian soil, I ate and drank everything I could. I gained 7 pounds in 6 days, and it was more than worth it.

Gettin' some Dario love.
 His butcher shop is where most of my weight gained happened.
Spiced lard on bread, anyone? 

Here is my rendition of one of my favorite dishes that I ate while we were in Florence.  It's delicious, cheap and unbelievably easy to make. The original dish, called orecchiette con le cime di rapa, (basically, pasta with turnip greens), was prepared with orecchiette pasta, but I had just used the last of mine in soup and had to use bow tie noodles as a substitute.  They were wonderful.  After all, the pasta isn't really the star of this dish, the spicy turnip greens are. 

Missing Italy, 
If you happen to ever find yourself in Florence, here's the man you need to look up.  He knows all the best spots to eat, drink, and be merry.  Thanks, Ale!  You're the best!  
Pasta con le cime di rapa
Pasta with Turnip Greens
Here's what you need:
  • 1 bunch of organic turnip greens, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 box bow tie noodles
  • 4 Tb. quality olive oil plus more for serving
  • 3 oil-packed anchovies
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • s & p
  • red pepper flakes
  • half a lemon
Here's what you do:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook turnip greens in salted water for about 5 minutes and them remove with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool. 
  • Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.  Drain and set aside. 
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Toss anchovies into the pan and smash with the back of a fork until they begin to break up.  Add garlic, cooking for 1 minute and then toss greens into the pan.  Saute the greens, anchovies and garlic for about 5 minutes, then add the cooked pasta.  
  • Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper.  Add red pepper flakes if using. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil, top with Parmesan cheese, and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice. 
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