This wonderful recipe comes from NYT Cooking. It’s simple to prepare and the clean-up is easy since you only use your pasta pan and baking dish to mix, cook and bake in. My version is a little different from the Times, but the end product is so good.
- Kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 2 cups finely grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
- Black pepper
- Crushed Red Chilis
- 1 pound fusilli
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 small garlic clove, grated
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Place the butter in a 9-by-13-inch/3-quart pan or baking dish and transfer it to the oven to melt while the oven heats; remove it from the oven once it’s melted and tern oven to 450 degrees.
- In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrmbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan and the lemon zest. Add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter from the baking pan, stir until the breadcrumbs are moistened with butter, then season with salt and pepper.
- When the water’s boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package instructions suggest. During the last minute of cooking, add the broccoli rabe. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and broccoli rabe.
- Whisk the cream, garlic and pasta water into the melted butter in the baking dish until smooth. Add the remaining Parmesan in large handfuls, vigorously whisking until smooth and combined. Add the pasta, broccoli rabe and half the mozzarella. Taste, and season well with salt and pepper and add crushed red chilis to taste . Stir until very combined.
- Top with the remaining mozzarella, then sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the mozzarella has melted and the panko is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.