Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

September/October 2014

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In this classic Italian pasta recipe, anchovies are mashed into olive oil to add amazing depth to the garlicky sauce. If broccoli rabe is too bitter, you can use broccolini or broccoli in its place.

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

Makes: 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 pounds broccoli rabe (about 2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in salt, add pasta and cook according to package instructions until just tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
  2. Meanwhile, thoroughly wash broccoli rabe and trim off tough ends. Chop into 2-inch lengths. Leave some of the water clinging to the leaves and stems; this will help create a sauce.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it starts to shimmer. Add garlic, crushed red pepper and anchovies, mashing the fillets until they dissolve. Add the broccoli rabe (you may have to do this in batches, stirring each batch a little until it wilts enough to add more). Cook, stirring, until almost tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and toss until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta and toss to coat. If it’s too dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan if desired.


Per serving: 359 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 7 g mono); 5 mg cholesterol; 50 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g total sugars; 15 g protein; 7 g fiber; 388 mg sodium; 484 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (89% daily value), Vitamin C (63% dv), Folate (59% dv), Iron (29% dv), Calcium (18% dv), Magnesium (16% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 fat

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