Braised Broccoli Rabe with Orecchiette

May/June 2009, January/February 1998

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (12 votes)

Here we mellow broccoli rabe's bitterness just a bit by plunging it into boiling water for a minute before adding it to the pasta. For a variation, try adding crumbles of browned Italian turkey sausage.

"Not so good. This did not maximize the flavors of the broccoli rabe - it was overcooked by far. The dish ended as more of a soup/stew than I would have liked, and the vegetable broth I used overwhelmed the flavors of the aromatics. I...
Braised Broccoli Rabe with Orecchiette

Makes: 4 servings, 1 2/3 cups each

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  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, tough stems trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat pasta, such as orecchiette, chiocciole (pictured) or penne
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper , to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip)


  1. Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling water until bright green and still crisp, about 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Coarsely chop.
  2. Combine oil, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper in a large pot; cook, stirring, over medium heat, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Add pasta and the broccoli rabe. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkled with walnuts.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To toast chopped walnuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.


Per serving: 342 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 56 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 9 g fiber; 686 mg sodium; 168 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (175% daily value), Vitamin A (173% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 fat

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