Gemelli ''Twin'' Pasta with Broccoli Rabe Pesto


Gemelli ("twins" in Italian) noodles resemble two thick strands of spaghetti twisted together -- use them in this pesto pasta recipe tonight.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • ½ cup coarse fresh bread crumbs

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus one tablespoon, divided

  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon peel

  • 1 pound gemelli pasta

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced

  • Pinch crushed red-pepper flakes


  1. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring until butter is absorbed and bread crumbs are toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare and ice-water bath; set aside. Season boiling water generously with salt and return to a boil. Add broccoli rabe and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to water bath to cool. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, separating leaves and florets from stems.

  3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine broccoli rabe stems, 1/4 cup olive oil, Parmesan, pine nuts, lemon peel, and a pinch of salt. Pulse just until a smooth pesto is formed; set aside.

  4. Bring another large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes; drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.

  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon oil until hot. Add garlic, red-pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt; cook until garlic is soft and translucent, about 1 minute.

  6. Add broccoli rabe florets and leaves to skillet along with reserved pasta cooking water; cook, stirring, until broccoli rabe is warmed through. Add pasta and pesto to skillet; season with pepper and butter. Toss to combine. Serve immediately with toasted bread crumbs and Parmesan.

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