Traditionally made with Orecchiette!
This Broccoli Rabe Pasta recipe is a simple seasonal pasta dish from the Puglia region of Italy! Italians call this dish Orecchiette con le Cime di Rapa.
Like so many Italian dishes, the secret to this dish is properly preparing the vegetables. Follow our tips for removing the parts of the broccoli rabe that aren’t tender and tasty.
While adding cheese is not traditional, this nutritious broccoli rabe pasta is also tasty topped with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
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How to Make Broccoli Rabe Pasta: Tips
It’s extremely easy to make this Broccoli Rabe Pasta recipe! Rinse the broccoli rabe, cut off any tough parts, cook the broccoli rabe and combine with the cooked pasta of your choice. We recommend orecchiette.
Remove all of the broccoli leaves and save for the pasta dish. Only use the tender part of the broccoli rabe starts. To learn how to tell which part of the stalks are fit to eat, check out our tip below!
Only use the tender parts of broccoli rabe stalks.
Starting at the bottom of each stalk, make shallow cuts with a dull paring knife to check for tenderness.
When the knife enters the stalk cleanly, make a cut and toss out the bottom part of the stalk.
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Broccoli Rabe Pasta Recipe
- 17 ½ oz broccoli rabe also called 'rapini'
- 9 oz orecchiette or a pasta of your choice
- extra virgin olive oil as needed
- coarse salt for pasta water
- Parmigiano Reggiano optional, for topping
Prepare the Broccoli Rabe
- Rinse the broccoli rabe.
- Leaves: Remove and save all of the leaves for the dish. Stalks: Starting at the bottom of each stalk, make shallow cuts with a dull paring knife to check for tenderness. When the knife enters the stalk cleanly, make a cut and toss out the bottom part of the stalk.
Cook the Broccoli Rabe
- Add a few handfuls of coarse salt to a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and add the broccoli rabe (leaves and tender stalks). Cook for 5-10 minutes until the stalks are tender.
- Remove the tender broccoli rabe from the pot of water, SAVING THE WATER. We will use this same water to cook the pasta, infusing it with additional flavor.
Finish with Pasta
- Bring the saved water back to a boil. Add the orecchiette (or pasta of your choice) and cook according to package directions. When cooked, drain the pasta.
- Combine the cooked broccoli rabe and the orecchiette. Drizzle on a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and stir.
- Top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano if you like. Serve!