How to Make It
In a medium pot of boiling, salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until almost done, about 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over moderate heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Remove. Wipe out the pan.
In the same pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all the fat. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in the frying pan over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe and cook, stirring occasionally, until just done, about 3 minutes longer.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orecchiette until done, about 15 minutes. Drain and toss with the bread crumbs, bacon, broccoli rabe, and salt.
Fresh Bread Crumbs: The quickest way to make fresh bread crumbs is to tear up a few slices of French or Italian bread and whir them in the food processor. No need to remove the crust.
Wine Recommendation: The bitter bite of the broccoli rabe and the pungent garlic in this dish both require a crisp white wine to act as a neutral foil. Try a pinot grigio from Friuli for good effect.
Quick From Scratch Italian