Ina Garten's Trick For Delectable Broccoli Rabe Pasta

There's something truly comforting about a pasta dinner. Not only does pasta have a delightful texture to it; it's a great vehicle for almost any kind of sauce, protein, or topping. From classics like spaghetti and meatballs, or macaroni and cheese to more innovative dishes like this Chicken Pot Pie Pasta, making noodles for dinner is a crowd pleaser. Bonus, if you're gluten-free here's a way to elevate your gluten-free pasta.

When making pasta, it's important to season it right out the gate, and according to Martha Stewart, you must begin with the pasta water itself. If you don't salt your pasta water, the dish will be bland no matter what kind of sauce or toppings you add to it. But did you know that Ina Garten has another trick to elevate your pasta dish to the next level? And it also has to do with how you flavor your pasta water.

Naturally flavored pasta water

Pasta's blank canvas is perfect for vegetables. Steamed veggies and roasted veggies pair excellently with a pasta dish, but if your recipe calls for a vegetable that you should blanch then try this trick that Ina Garten uses for her Broccoli Rabe Pasta.

Delicate vegetables like Broccoli Rabe or Kale are excellent companions to pasta, but according to Garten, blanching is the best way to prepare them. That way they become tender but don't wilt or turn brown. According to Whole Foods, blanching fresh vegetables not only enhances their color but improves their texture. Blanching also makes them easier to digest.

Since Garten is blanching broccoli rabe for a pasta dish she saves the blanching water and then cooks her pasta in it. This way the pasta gets the subtle flavor of the broccoli rabe, and she saves time by using only one pot to cook both. So next time you're making a pasta dish with fresh vegetables, consider blanching them first and try cooking the pasta in that water. And when you do, don't forget the salt!