Easy Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

Olive oil and Parmesan cheese offset the bite of the broccoli rabe in this classic orecchiette pasta dish.


  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 ½ pounds broccoli rabe, rinsed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 or 2 anchovy fillets (optional)

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt generously. Add broccoli rabe. Cook until leaves are wilted, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli rabe to colander; drain well.

  2. Return water to a boil, and add pasta; cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until soft, 30 seconds, being careful not to brown. Add anchovy fillets, if using, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli rabe; cook until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

  4. Add pasta to broccoli rabe mixture; toss to combine, adding reserved cooking water as desired. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve with Parmesan and lemon wedges.

Cook's Notes

When choosing broccoli rabe, look for bright-green leaves and small florets with no yellow spots. The stalks are also edible; just trim the tough ends.

Cook's Notes

If your skillet isn't large enough to accommodate both the broccoli rabe mixture and the pasta, you can toss them together in a large bowl instead.

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