Rabe with shrimp is a great meal during the week, course for a dinner party, or side anytime. This dish also makes an appearance during our Christmas Eve extravaganza (teaser!). I used the rabe my dad sneak-attack planted in my backyard; however, store-bought rabe works just as well.
3 - 4 bunches rabe
12 - 18 shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 3 - 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup warm water
Salt to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
Prepare the rabe by cutting off the hard bottom stems and removing the tougher outer leaves. The inner leaves are tender so don't remove them. Gently but thoroughly wash the rabe. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the prepared, washed rabe. Cook until they start to become tender, leaving them slightly undercooked or al dente, if you will. They will later be sautéed with the shrimp where they will finish cooking. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and place on the outer rim of a colander leaving a hole in the middle. Arranging them on the outer rim helps prevent them from overcooking as they cool.
Heat 3 - 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic. As the garlic begins to brown, add the shrimp with a little salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes per side just until they turn pink and curl. Remove the shrimp and place them on a flat plate in a single layer, leaving the garlic in the pan. The shrimp should be undercooked like the rabe so they won't overcook once they are sautéd together.
Add the olive oil to the frying pan and put back over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the rabe and toss. Then add 1/4 cup of water, salt, and red pepper flakes (if desired). Sauté, turning them occasionally to cook evenly. Once the rabe is tender on the thickest part of the stem, add back the shrimp. Stir until the shrimp cook through. Remove from heat and serve.