Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe

Pasta and Broccoli Rabe is an easy and quick meal you can whip up in under 15 minutes.  Its said Americans do not eat enough leafy greens, so here is where I go to get mine!  This healthy pasta dish has a light and heavenly flavor topped with a bit of grated cheese.  Its simple and simply good, the quintessence of Italian cooking.
Today, my children and their Nonno Giovanni are in the garden preparing the soil for the tomatoes and some other veggies we plant each year.  We had a grassy lane on the side of our house when we moved in.  My dad kept saying "you cant eat grass",  so we pulled up the grass and made a garden. 
You can always pick a true Italian house out.  Most of the trees bear fruit and where ever theres a square foot of space, there are veggies growing.  My father in law has grape vines, fig trees and a vegetable garden right in front of the house!  It's hysterical. 
Nonno Giovanni and Silvana


  • 1 lb mezzi rigatoni, cooked in (3 tbsp of salt) salted water until just al dente
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, washed and cut into thirds
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed with the heel of your hand
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup pasta water reserved just before draining the pasta
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 larger rectangle. Whatever adds up to enough for 16 ozs liquid
  • Pepper to taste, fresh ground of course or crushed red pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat
  • Grated cheese, optional, to top

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water as instructed on the box for 1 minute less than al dente.  Wash and cut broccoli rabe. In a medium pan, saute garlic on medium low in olive oil until its just golden.  Broccoli will need 6 minutes total to cook, so start your timer or watch the clock.  Add butter then broccoli rabe and cover immediately (so the wet broccoli doesnt spatter the oil).  Remove 1 cup liquid from pasta. Break up the bouillons in it. Add it to the broccoli, stir and cover.  Drain pasta and add it back into the large empty pot.  Plate it and top with grated cheese.  Serve immediately.

Servings: Serves 6


I typically cook my pasta for 1 minute less than what is recommended for ardent. This way I have time to plate it and serve it without worrying (and yes I do worry) about it getting over cooked.

Don't keep the pasta and broccoli in the pot for more than a minute or 2.  It will get mushy since the pot holds in the heat.

Leave the broccoli rabe wet.  Its that moisture that will help them cook properly, so resist the urge to dry or spin them.

The ingredients do make all the difference.  Ground pepper that has been sitting in the jar will have little pepper flavor, but instead just have a burning spice taste.  Fresh ground pepper does have a bit of heat, but also had a ground pepper flavor.  Be sure to grind your own peppercorns as needed instead of buying a preground shaker.



  1. Hi credit lawyer, try the crispy broccoli rabe recipe with kale or any other leafy green. It is amazing! We'll bring leafy greens back to the dinner table

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