- Cima di Rapa Novantina, 60-day Raab
Cima di Rapa Novantina, 60-day Raab
Easy to grow and use, this is the taller, slower, more bolt-resistant variety of Cima di Rapa. In 50 to 60 days from planting, it produces a 2-foot-high bunch of savory leaves and broccolini. (The name Novantina means ninety--but that's in very cold weather.) In Italy, this is boiled or steamed and then heated in a pan where meat or sausages have been cooked. Or heat the cooked cima with oil, garlic and red pepper flakes while you cook some penne or other pasta. Add a bit of the cooking liquid to the pan along with a handful of grated cheese, and stir to make a bit of sauce. Combine with the pasta. The bold flavor of Novantina is a good match for cheese, anchovies, sausage, peppers, sweet/sour, pine nuts, raisins, and other classic Southern Italian flavors.
We carry 3 kinds of Cima di Rapa: 30-40 day, 50-60 day, and one that overwinters for use in spring. They can all be sown at once in late summer to fall for a long harvest.
Novantina can be sown either as soon as soil can be worked in spring or in late summer. Direct-sow into fertile soil and keep moist. Sow 3" apart in rows 12" apart, and thin the week-old plants to 6" apart. Thinning is critical; crowding makes them bolt.