In my humble opinion, there’s cooking and there’s cooking. (I know, I’ll just give you a minute for the staggering profundity of that sentence to kick in.) What I mean is, it’s one thing to turn banana bread into a crepe, that crepe into a cake, that cake into a vehicle for walnut butterscotch, drooling, diet-postponing, and seconds, and it’s an entirely other thing to find yourself at the playground at 5:15 p.m. and realize a) you don’t actually have anything in the fridge that you can turn into dinner, b) you, in fact, barely feel like cooking, in fact, your interest in cooking is only a single degree stronger than your desire to order in, so this better be easy, and c) the adjacent farmers market which you have heard from others boasts ramps and asparagus and spinach and other new! spring! delights! in fact, at the tail end of the day, boasts few things aside from a straggler of a single bundle of broccoli rabe. And you like broccoli rabe, you’ve warmed to it quite a bit since you’ve accepted it into your life, but you hardly excel in turning it into a lightning-quick, lazy, and completely satisfying dinner (or LQLACSD for short).
Or, I didn’t before last Wednesday afternoon. This thing where you can grab anything at random without a shopping list in hand or recipe in mind and transform it effortlessly into a LQLACSD, this is real cooking. This is what separates those grandmothers that cranked out dinner like clockwork every night for 60 years, that didn’t throw in the towel because they only had canned peas and stale rice in the pantry, from the dilettantes. And people? Over 750 recipes into this site, I’m still getting there. Sometimes a simple recipe, one that you make once and instantly memorize and throw into the dinner rotation, helps.
And this is how by 6 p.m. I had I turned that bundle of broccoli rabe — a vegetable I love but don’t have a sixth sense for, at least not yet — into my new favorite pasta dish. I found inspiration in a 2006 recipe from Gourmet, showered it with punchy romano cheese, and retired for the evening with happy bellies and only a few dishes to wash. It is dinner, salad and a vegetable dish in one. It is quick. It could be dolled up in any number of ways — toasted breadcrumbs, minced capers or green olives, some ricotta — but it needs none of these to delight. To be dinner tonight, but 20 minutes after you bring home the groceries on a day too lovely to be fiddling over the stove. Hallelujah.
One year ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll
Two years ago: Classic Cobb Salad and Lime Yogurt Cake with Blackberry Sauce
Three years ago: Pickled Grapes with Cinnamon and Black Pepper and Pasta with Favas, Tomatoes and Sausage
Four years ago: Caramelized Shallots and Peanut Sesame Noodles
Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
Adapted, just a smidge, from Gourmet, September 2006
The original recipe calls for spaghetti, but I prefer short, chunky pastas that are spear-able by toddler forks. I fell for a “toscani” shape, though it also looks like campanelle, “little bells.” I think it looks like pretty, pretty locks of hair.
So, unless I think the texture of a salt really makes a difference in a dish, I usually default to table salt in my recipes, because it’s cheap and everyone keeps it around (and, better that someone uses a coarse salt for a table salt volume and undersalts a dish than the other, irreversible, way around). But! Not here. Please don’t use table salt. Most table salt is iodized and that iodine can turn your garlic a weird bright blue/green color. It will still be safe to eat but look… disturbing. Trust me, I learned the hard way.
1 pound pasta, whatever shape you like (but chunky ones will match up better with the rabe)
1 pound broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections (I attempt to match my pasta in length)
1/2 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste
About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
To serve: Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (omit, of course, if keeping the dish vegan)
Bring a huge pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain rabe and pasta together and pour into serving bowl. In the same pot or a tiny one, heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Shower with freshly grated cheese and eat at once.
427 comments on pasta with garlicky broccoli rabe
What beautiful pasta – and a great recipe! Thanks for the beautiful food, as always!
having a dinner party this weekend! i’m going to have to try this for all my vegetarians :) thanks for sharing!
this looks like the perfect solution for all the broccoli rabe i keep seeing at the farmer’s market! i like to stick my my broccoli rabe in the broiler for a couple of minutes to get a couple of crunchy pieces and this will be perfect with that.
I make this at least once a month. I’ve added a sprinkle of pine nuts for extra texture and parm. My favorite pasta dish. I often double the broccoli rabe so that it’s more veg than pasta. So good. I’ve made it with baby broccoli also when I can’t find broccoli rabe. Thank you so much – this hits all the high spots and is so quick to make.
Pine nuts are a great idea. Definitely adding them next time!
This looks absolutely delish!
Can’t wait to try it!
I make almost the exact same dish but use regular broccoli and some shrimp. But my husband loves broccoli rabe and this really is so easy, I should give in and make it. Hubby thanks you for the reminder! :) Of course, I might throw in Italian sausage with the broccoli rabe because that really seems to go well together.
I love simple dinner like this. I make very similar pasta dishes, often adding anchovies to the garlic and oil. Haven’t tried cooking with broccoli rabe yet, but after seeing this, I might just be on the lookout for it this weekend :)
Yes to the anchovies. Melt them in the olive oil before adding the garlic. And I sometimes use dandelion greens instead of broccoli rabe.
Love quick, easy but impressive dishes like this one and I have a feeling this will become a regular in our weeknight dinner rotation! Thanks for another great recipe!
Now this looks delicious! I am always on the hunt for new and delicious veggie options. And I am loving the addition of crushed red pepper just for a bit of spice and additional flavor.
I LOVE simple recipes like this one…It looks totally scrumptious and something that I would totally crave all the time!! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks and have a great one. xo
I am having those exact feelings for dinner tonight and panicking that I have to go to the store after work and then get home and cook and….you have obviously saved dinner tonight. This is just what I needed.
Wow. This looks to die for. Especially for a lightening fast dinner on the fly! I have everything but the broccoli rabe. . . I’m putting on my shoes and loading the kids in the car NOW to go get some.
kidding. Kind of.
I actually really want to.
Thanks for expanding my broccoli-rabe-horizons!
Mmm, I love garlic SO much. Is that why I’m single? Hehe. But really – my new job requires some longer hours and I’m always looking for quick dinners that don’t require take-out. This looks good!
This looks wonderful!
Sounds like a delicious twist on one of our staples – most often with kale or chard instead – and with sliced chicken sausages browned before the garlic. Some times with slices of sweet red pepper too. Yum!
The saying “Neccesity is the mother of invention” is never truer than in the kitchen. You have to embrace it and celebrate when it succeeds so well! Good job.
Just add sausage for the carnivores among us! /looks at husband/
I’m always looking for quick, but satisfying, dinners. This one looks great and is full of flavors I love! Thanks :)
Ok, so in my years of loving broccoli rabe I’ve never cooked it that way! I usually saute, in some olive oil and garlic. I guess I only worry about losing some of the flavor in the water – or does it make it less bitter? I kind of like the bitter bite, but I am thinking that I must try it this way, if only for the sake one less dish to wash.
Also, Elizabeth’s suggestion of Italian sausage sounds AWESOME – I actually love broccoli rabe with some spicy tempeh and it’s very similar to hot Italian sausage. This is so happening in my kitchen tonight.
I love simple pasta recipes like this! I make a similar one (from the ol’ Silver Palate bible) with penne and broccoli. Thanks for the suggestion to up my game – and give me an excuse to use a similar fun pasta shape I bought recently.
Ooh – and thanks for the blue garlic explanation! I make a grilled chicken recipe with a hot & sweet dipping sauce (from Hot Sour Salty Sweet – Alford & Dugoid)and figured it was the rice vinegar that was to blame. yay for science!
This sounds yum :-) My favorite to add to the broccoli rabe is sausage! It brings out the flavor so much!
YUM!!! So simple and fresh, perfect for this time of year :)
Love this! I make a similar version with kale or swiss chard.
I love broccoli rabe! And even more than that, I love pastas that have enough vegetables to cancel out the need for a salad. I might have to add some spicy garlic sausage to this, but only because people get mutinous if I don’t include enough protein.
I make a variation of this all the time– pasta with some sort of delicious veggie, doused in garlicky oil and tossed with too much cheese, is a delicious and lovely weeknight meal. Thanks!
Beautiful. Can’t stop looking at this and fantasizing about making this very, very soon.
I think that pasta is the best one dish, use up whatever you have on hand meal. Nice work!
Such a pretty, in season dish! Can’t wait to try it.
wow, that is BEAUTIFUL looking pasta. deb, just curious – do you feel like the fancier pastas are worth it, generally speaking?
emily — I don’t think that they are in any way a prerequisite to making an excellent bowl of pasta. I use DeCecco 90% of the time, and am happy with it. But, I do get occasionally enchanted — and more so after reading this article — by imported brands that use bronze molds. They really make beautiful pastas. They often have a matte appearance (the makers will boast that this makes the sauce stick better). The pasta I choose has a lot to do with usage. If the pasta is going to be buried in a meaty bolognese, I have a hard time finding the need for a fancier dried pasta. When it will be more prominent as it would be with, say, cacio e pepe, I like to go the extra mile with the pasta.
Perfect–I have all of these ingredients at home, so this will be dinner tonight!
Yum, I just planted a whole load of broccoli rabe in my garden so I’m pumped about this one. Thanks!
LQLACSD, yeah, I have had a need for those recipes. Nearly weekly, or LQLACSDNW. :-)
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the best meals. I also aspire to cook in the style of grandmothers who seem to make something out of nothing. Props on last week’s victory! Broccoli rabe is my favorite green to combine with pasta.
I did not realize that about iodized salt. Interesting. I use sea salt w/o iodine so I guess I have never encountered the blue affect. Something to remember though, thanks.
This looks awesome. I do have to admit, I’ve never had broccoli rabe (that I know of), but this dish seems like the perfect introduction. Thanks!
I have been doing things like this with pasta and lots of veggies that surprisingly my meat loving family also loved-roasted butternut squash, garlic and browned onion and another version with roasted eggplant. Now I must try greens maybe spinach?
HaHaHa. I like your humor. Thanks for the recipe. I looks A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and I think I am getting very hungry right now.
And here I was, wondering what on earth to make for dinner, if my honey even will have time. I have straight broccoli that I’ll cook up instead. I love garlic :)
Also, thank you for the tidbit about iodized salt and garlic. I also learned the hard way that using too-young garlic grated over bread can turn green in the oven. Thank goodness the interwebs told us it was still safe to eat!
I fully agree on the distinction between cooking and cooking. Ten years after starting to cook–based on recipes and food shows and so on–I can FINALLY throw stuff from my pantry together on those nights. And it’s even usually pretty good. I’ve made fancier dishes, but the day I did the “threw it together from the strange stuff left in my fridge and pantry” and my partner asked “Whose recipe is this? It’s delicious” was the BEST meal I ever made.
And I’ll be doing this one soon!
An absolute relief for a Friday after a long day at work…Thank you from the bottom of my heart (and stomach)!!
Love to see this recipe here. It’s an Italian Classic with sausage: Orecchiette con Rapini e Salsiccia! I can never make enough around here…Leftovers are wonderful with a splash of chicken broth to keep it moist!
This looks so delicious. One question: how many people does this recipe serve? Thanks!
Hi Bonnie — I’d say between 4 and 6 as a main. 8 for an appetizer.
I love how simple, fast, easy, and delicious this recipe is. This is exactly what I crave for on crazy days when I do not have time for a big dinner project. Love the pictures and the pasta that you used is sooooooo pretty!
Ah my favorite kind of meal. Well done.
Beautiful! And delicious. I love how red pepper flakes give just a little zing to so many things.
Wonderful green – Spring vegetables! 750 recipes! Nice work, I am slowly making my way through them, they are pretty stellar, approachable and dependable.
I have made this dish so often that I got tired of it and stopped making it. Good reminder to get back to it. It really is great. Re your comment on special pasta and the value. I too usually use a nice but not too expensive brand and go all out $$ on secial shapes and artisanal pasta every once in a while. I did that a few weeks ago with a recipe from 101 cookbooks. Its a walnut and fresh marjoram pesto with farro pasta (which can be purchased at chelsea market in the italian store). Its sort of expensive, but fantastically good. The pesto is heavenly! I recommend that you check the recipe out, takes about 5 minutes to make. Also if you can’t find fresh marjoram (Chelsea market veggie store) try fresh oregano. I have made the pesto with both and its equally good.
This is one of my favourite meals! I just love love love it.
Instead of parm I use feta. Delicious.
This is my favorite quick, one pot meal, too. After boiling the broccoli rabe in the water, I take it out and saute it with the garlic but never thought of just putting the oil over the pasta/broccoli. I also add (canned) chickpeas to the pasta for the last minute of boiling. They taste great with the broccoli rabe and add some protein. Yum!
I love sneaking veggies into pasta. This looks so good. I’ve never really tried broccoli rabe, but I’m open to any leafy vegetables (especially with garlic!).
Can’t wait to try this with goat cheese… mmmm
It looks delightful, Deb. I wish I had a garlicky bowl of pasta like this one for dinner.
LQLACSD would be so much easier if dinner didn’t happen every.single.night. Not sure I can sell the other family members on brocolli rabe but it looks delicious to me!
Ooh – will definitely be trying this with Quinoa Pasta – looks very tasty – love broccoli rabe!
I just love the poetic, lyrical way in which you wrote this recipe. Just LOVE it. The creativity of cooking, photographing, and then translating into words. How inspiring!
This dish looks fantastic as I’ve been pushing myself to use what I have on hand to create dinner. I love broccoli rabe with garlic, and I know I’ll be adding toasted bread crumbs, just because I’m a “bread girl.”
Pasta, salad and veg all in one … that’s my kind of meal. Looks delish. Thanks for sharing!
I make this with farfalle. I think I learned the combo from notmartha.org, where it was suggested as a cold buster. I sometimes add chunks of italian sausage that I’ve slit open and cooked in the toaster oven.
I make this a lot because it’s easy to accomplish with an ever-busy-and-into-everything toddler. I’m curious to try your method – usually I use a spicy Italian sausage, casing removed, for extra flavor and use that fat to saute the garlic and pepper flakes – then I add the broccoli rabe and a little chicken or vegetable stock, cook it down, and add cooked orecchiette. Fast, quick, perhaps lazy, but very tasty. :)
My mouth is watering. Like Linda and Jen this is a staple at our house too – I love to add raisins. That may sound strange, but really, try it. :)
I just wanted to tell you that I adore you. There, I said it. I’ve been reading your blog ever since I googled “sour cherry pie” because the farmer’s market had some and I stumbled onto your blog. Your writing today reminds me why I keep eagerly awaiting the latest update, and why I think of you privately as my friend, even though that’s absurd. You don’t have to publish this , I just wanted tell you.
Sadly my husband morphed into a type 1 diabetic. No quick and easy pasta dinners here anymore. Pity Party for me. I miss pasta!
Sausage — I agree, it sounds fantastic in here. I also would have liked to add more heat, but didn’t want to scare away the 2.5 year old, so held back on the pepper flakes.
Tangentially related — My standard recipe for Insert Any Vegetable Name Pasta Here is to cook pasta, reserve a cup of the cooking water, and then drain the rest. Then, in the bottom of that pan, I heat olive oil and some minced garlic and pepper flakes and warm them. Then, I saute in some vegetable — spinach, asapargus, mushrooms, shredded brussels, anything I have around. Add back the pasta, toss it all together over the heat with a 1/2 cup of the water and more if needed. Let them cook together for a minute and le voila, you’re done. I mention this because it’s actually really easy and a great technique to get down. But this? This is even easier. This is even lazier. Weeks like this, this totally wins.
Karen — Aw. Thank you so much.
I make this at least once a week when broccoli rabe is readily available. Except with some finely diced chorizo…oh to die for.
This looks amazing! I love the shape of the pasta!
I do love how simple this is, yet so great for a weeknight meal!
You’re a crack up! I find myself focusing on one masterpiece too and then realize my refrigerator is completely bare and my boyfriend and I are starving. At that point, we usually just look at each other and say “qdoba” and head out for a burrito. Your pasta looks excellent. You have inspired me to cook with broccoli rabe – I’ve heard whisperings of it, but don’t know that I have even consumed it before. Anything green is fine by me and would love to put the added nutrition in my pasta. Excellent recipe!
Thank you sharing the pasta recipe! Excellent pairings!
Ah yes. I too am learning the art of true cooking. And I love my grandmother. And my mom.
I make a version of this- as well as sausage, add white beans. really- and smash a few up with the back of a wooden spoon in the pan to thicken the sauce. mmmmmm
Thanks for a great blog Deb. It has been a fun ride so far.
Oh my god do I hear ya….how is it that I cook so often and love it so much but the weeknight cooking for kids in time for baseball practices gets to me every time! Not a lover of many things green but really working on adding more veggies to my diet, so may have to try this out.
I just want to echo Karen’s confessional. I stumbled upon your site the day you posted the monkey cake, and I honestly think I have made nearly every recipe since (exception: some of the more elaborate, ahem wedding, cakes since). This site almost prevented me from finishing my dissertation but it turned out the cooking was the perfect brain-relaxing activity to get it done. I made the banana crepe cake tonight (had to use garbanzo flour due to extenuating circumstances) and bought the rabe for tomorrow night. Anyways, thanks, truly, deb for your recipes, your humor, and your beautiful photographs. My boyfriend loves to remind me “Deb is not your friend!” when I quote you or claim newfound inspiration from your hard work.
Not to butter you up or anything here, but, Deb? The fact that on a last minute, post-playground, uninspired weeknight you not only drummed this dish up but researched back issues of Gourmet in the process and then photographed the whole thing? THAT, madam, is what separates someone from the dilettantes.
Made this tonight! Yuuuum. Used whole wheat spaghetti and it was delish. Thank you!
As a mama to a four month old, my time to get dinner prepared is at a premium these days. I need fast and delicious recipes like these in my arsenal. Plus we’re trying to eat more greens (I’m cultivating an appreciation of kale) , so this one is truly a win-win!
Yum, this looks great! Love that you used five cloves of garlic. Nothing better than comfort food made easy, in my opinion.
I love this. You’ve summed up my feelings regarding preparing dinner at least 4 nights per week. I also love broccoli rabe but my husband hates it. Hmm, who can I make this for?
This looks great and simple to make.
i actually had all these ingredients on hand today and made it. it’s ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUSLY and ridiculously simple to make. thanks so much for the recipe!
That is a really interesting factoid about salt/garlic and the color change.
Gorgeous photos…the leaves are just catching the light beautifully!
my grandfather used to make this with orecchiette. but what he would do (and i hated it at the time, but now i’m CRAVING) was dissolve a few anchovies in the oil with the garlic and pepper flakes. it would make it so deliciously salty. I’m getting chills just thinking about it! YUM
I’ve never had broccoli rabe. Is it like spinach?
I guess I should try this and find out!
This looks delicious and I am so grateful it’s not a dessert. I cut sweets out of my diet and your last post almost killed me. But this! Hooray! Something I can make! Btw – I check this blog nearly everyday and when I see a new post I always let out an excited gasp – even when I’m alone. You do a wonderful job, Ms Deb!
There’s something unique and special about the taste of broccol rabe, especially cooked with pasta like this. So ridiculously easy. Thanks for posting this and making it look so beautiful.
YUM. Throw some sauteed white beans in with the broccoli rabe and you’d have a complete vegetarian protein as well. ;)
We were just down in the Apulia region of Italy (heel of the boot) where broccoli rabe – cima di rapa – is the star of the show. As Vicky mentioned it is typically sauteed in anchovy-oil and served with orecchiette. I think I ate a bowl for dinner almost every night. It’s all about simple, local and cheap food down there, which are the three things I aim for with weeknight dinners. Wonderful ‘simple’ post!
First of all, Gabe hit it spot on. I might add that I am currently in awe of the fact that you even wanted to make dinner more than take out (however little). Secondly, just wanted to give you your just dues and say I’ve found myself coming here if ever I’m in a recipe bind, your arsenal of recipes (that over 750!) is not just amazing in number, but amazing in taste. So good job, and thanks.
This dish makes me swoon. Love broccoli rabe in pasta!
Pasta with broccoli rabe is one the traditionals dishes of my contry! love it!
I never had paste with broccoli rabe in my life…time to fill this awkward culinary gap!
I really, really needed this LAST night! I didn’t feel like cooking, my honey didn’t either. All I had in the fridge was some broccoli and sliced magret de canard. But I was too lazy to do anything great with such a deserving ingredient and so made penne with a red wine based sauce. The broccoli was fine but somehow the whole thing came out a little watery and sad. A perfect example of working too hard when the simple answer is the better one! Sigh. Still learning. :)
Thanks for all you do! I look forward to your posts every singe time!!
A perfect weeknight meal for any family. Looks delicious and broccoli rabe is earning its way into my heart.
I was curious about broccoli rabe. Is it the same as the now-in-season sprouting broccoli which I’ve been eating for the past two months here in London? Looked it up online and no, it’s not even in the same family. I’m sure it’s in my local Farmers’ Mkt here in Hackney so I will give it a go. Love being inspired by easy but delicious sounding recipes – wish my grandchildren could be coaxed into more veggies.
I’ve been religiously reading this blog for 2 years now but in the last year it has been a particular addiction because I have been living in Bangladesh, far from cheese, oats, lettuce, avocados …(the list goes on). Anyway, reading these posts gives me a taste of home and recipes to save for when I have the ingredients to make them. BUT FINALLY this is a recipe I can make here!!! Literally, the excitement is indescribable. THANK YOU!
This is my kind of meal, look yum. I wish broccoli rabe was easier to find in the UK; I have literally just ordered some seed so hopefully I’ll have some ready to cook by mid-June. I guess I’m going to have to use purple sprouting broccoli in the meantime!
i like meal in this wey,this is simple way for inserting vegetables in the diet!
Looks great Deb! Hey, I inherited some old, wonderful Gourmet magazines. Over 60! Would you like a few? If yes, email me an address to send them in care of. Thanks for the quick LQ dish! Jen
I make this all the time with Shell pasta and Broccoli Rabe but also add a couple of Anchovies while heating garlic.Trust me–the anchovies melt off and impart an exquisite flavor to the pasta. I made it several times without anchovies for my vegetarian friends, but its not the same. Do try it….even Anchovy haters admitted to like it!
I meant….anchovies packed in olive oil–not raw. Even anchovy paste will do.
Quick, easy and delicious. Perfect!
This looked great – until I realized no one has ever heard of broccoli rabe in France where I live (well, not in Paris, at least)… Do you think I could replace it with spinach or maybe chard?
frilly pasta + frilly greens = pretty :)
JUST found out about the existence of ramps the other day, Deb, and now I’m so excited to try them out! And thank you for the tip about the garlic and salt; I had no idea!
How easy! My 10 year old son has decided to become vegetarian, and he’ll flip over this. For me, it will probably be the fastest fabulous supper I’ve ever made him. A win-win as I fight against a writing deadline!
Meanwhile, I have to say that your writing is absolutely as delicious as your recipes. Thanks!
Love your blog. It’s one of my favorites and very inspirational.
I subscribe to American’s Test Kitchen, they had the most fascinating way to cook pasta: like risotto!
below is the link:
I wanted to share: I hope the link works :)
This reminds me of a dish my mother often made (with broccoli) and I feed it to my toddlers today. It’s always a hit, quick and tasty. I find it’s great making ahead for dinners when I’ll be out of town.
Thanks – add in a boneless skinless grilled chicken breast and I think I will have another winner – – from a woman who has been delivering dinner to the table for 40 years!
This is one of my favourite mid week supper solutions – I often make something similar for my boyfriend and I. I love the kick of chilli against the soft broccoli and a good grating of fresh parmesan.
Looks delicious! So glad you explained the whole blue/green garlic phenomenon with the iodized table salt! I made roasted broccoli or cauliflower a while back tossed with minced garlic and i must have used table salt because the garlic did indeed turn an INCREDIBLY disturbing green color and I really had no idea what had happened!
What is broccoli rabe? I am British and we have nothing like this. Is there a close substitute?
Broccoli rabe — It also goes by the names rapini, raab/raap, broccoletti, broccoli di rape, cime di rapa and even friarielli (Thanks, Wikipedia!). Just to make finding it really complicated. ;)
Jen — No way! What years, do you know? And thank you. (Though, my husband is still grumbling about the last Gourmet delivery I took. Heh.)
Amanda — Thank you. I can assure you, it doesn’t usually win out. It will not, for example, this evening.
Gale — Oh no, not like that. I brought home the rabe, did a quick Google for ideas, found the recipe, made it. We loved it, and then I made it again this week with photos. And now we will take a break from the dish for a couple weeks.
Felice — Tell your boyfriend that we could be friends! What does he know! (A huffy voice will make this funnier.) Also, thank you.
This post is beautifully written, with its paean to the grandmas and the photos are enticing. Half a cup of olive oil seems like a lot to me in a dish that I would otherwise love. My lazy method for cooking vegetables with pasta is to cut (or snap) them in small pieces and toss them into the pasta water for no more than thirty seconds to a minute. This works well with broccoli, green beans and cauliflower. My other quick trick is simmering eggplant and/or summer squash with garlic and red pepper flakes in (jarred) marinara while the pasta cooks.
I’ve been making this recipe for many years, tho a little differently. I parboil the broccoli rabe for a minute, take it out and add the pasta to the same water. Saute garlic and hot sausage, add broccoli rabe, pasta and a little of the water from the pot for a sauce. A touch of crushed red pepper flakes and some fresh grated parm and it’s dinner!! Just love that rabe!!
Wow Debbie this looks so easy and delicious! I have never even heard of broccoli rabe before, but I love everything green. I am definitely going to try this recipe. Congratulations on being a super mom and a super cook at the same time!
Great with any green, like kale or chard, asian greens, all greens that have been in our winter market (small farm greenhouses in NE) all winter and beginning to come now from the field…
Yum! I make something similar, only more lemon-y and with squid added in. If you are a fan of squid, you can either sautee it with the garlic mixture or throw it in with the pasta for the last three minutes. The combination of raab and squid could change your life.
I do this with pasta, chicken, asparagus or other veggie, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. yum!
I really hope this isn’t posted somewhere and I’ve just overlooked it, but any idea how many people this would serve? I know it really depends on appetite, but just a rough idea would be great, thanks!
This is one of my favorite comfort foods but I’ve never cooked the broccoli raab this way. Not only would I add sliced Italian sausage but a little mashed anchovies or anchovy paste to the garlic-oil mixture. It adds a bit of umami that makes the entire dish pop.
Sounds delicious! I’m also working on my cooking skills. A couple weeks ago I whipped up a little dinner of rice cooked with broccoli and then mixed with black beans, spinach, jarred corn salsa, chopped avocado, lime juice, and salt – all stuff I had in the fridge or pantry. It turned out very yummy, but was actually even better as a cold salad the next day. I ended up making it again for a party and serving it cold.
Totally agree with you that this is what “real cooking” is. I’m a cooking instructor, and so many of clients say their main goal is to get to the ability to improv. This recipe you offer has so many variations, but people sometimes forget that the broccoli rabe can be substituted w/ endless greens or other veggies, pasta for other grains (or even legumes!).
I might try this with Kale! Looks so fantastic!!
Ha! I had almost this exact same thing for dinner last night. Unfortunately I had regular old brocolli. But still, its good and the leftovers for lunch should be yummy. :)
I wish I’d written down the number of (apparently excellent) dinners I’d slammed together when I didn’t feel like cooking or was pressed for time and ingredients. There are times my kids call and ask if I “remember that time when I had baseball practice and you made…” and I don’t have a clue! This recipe is one of those kind..and you have it not only written out, but photo’d. Blogs are good that way!
Blue garlic – ha! Yep, I didn’t feel much like cooking earlier this week when we threw together linguine, broccoli, and shrimp with lemon, parmesan, and crushed red pepper. Tasty dinner in a snap. Have a great weekend, Deb!
I love this style of cooking where it’s all about the method and doesn’t need to be made with specific ingredients. It’s how my husband cooks and after many years I finally got the hang of it too.
This is essentially pasta aglio e olio with greens, right? I do this all the time. Sometimes, I can’t be bothered cooking the garlic and just throw it in raw. Don’t tell anyone. And, agreed on the cooking philosophy. I think it’s fun to throw together whatever I have in the fridge and get creative. Some of my best meals have come together in that way.
I love this recipe, but man – do you seriously now have a full page pop up ad for the Avengers film that covers the whole screen and autoplays music? That… that’s going to be a problem.
hsg — Didn’t realize. Will have it removed.
Yay! You have made me happy! Not only does this look delicious and like the EXACT type of food that makes my husband sooooooo happy. According to your description I am a REAL cook. How exciting that the writer of one of my favorite food blogs would define a real cook and I fall into that category. Fun!
I agree, whenever I have chunked up vegetables I prefer small pasta to keep the texture uniform. Just a personal opinion.
I still miss Gourmet every day. I have the iPhone app, but it’s not the same :(
Here’s what’s plainly not fair. You have a kid who eats broccoli rabe. I’d even settle for a husband who ate broccoli rabe. 3 kids, 1 husband, 1 me. I’m the only one who loves it.
Can’t find Brocoli Rabe? Some people call it Rappini. I asked for brocoli rabe in my Whole Foods and the man looked blank, so disappointed.. went back another time and the Hispanic head of the department said, “I call it Rappini” So try that. It is great!
This is a very tradition, southern Italian recipe that has been in my family for years – I was raised on this dish. This has been my go-to recipe when I really need some comfort food – its something I always cook for friends and everyone LOVES it. I have seen this dish pop up in more and more restaurants and cookbooks over the last couple of years and I think it great because it’s so easy but SO good. Yay for southern Italians!
I agree with you, everyone should have a super-fast, one meal in a bowl, pasta dish. I make mine with several variations but my two favorites would be pasta w/ peas (frozen ones thrown in to cook with the pasta), bacon, and parmesan OR pasta with sauteed spinach, turkey italian sausage, lemon zest, and red pepper flake. I’ve always drizzled olive oil on at the end–never thought to infuse in a saucepan and then add to the pasta–thanks for sharing!
Ohmigod! This looks so tasty! I actually want to stab my fork into that bowl of pasta right now. Will definately be trying this one when I roll from work in a tired mess. Thanks for the tip!
All of my pasta dishes have to have red pepper flakes in them. If they don’t I just miss that little extra bit of heat. I love the bitter crunch of broccoli raab. It has such a unique and distinct taste.
OMG YUM! AHH
This looks delightful! I am Italian and this is something I would definitely add to my collection. Not to take from this recipe, but just another similar idea for a quick pasta dish is to use spinich. Rinse and keep in the colandar. Drain pasta into the spinach and it steams up perfectly. Thank you for your great recipes and commentary! Love this site.
Okay, I feel much better knowing that… ;)
talley- that is exactly where my mother and grandparents are from! bari- the heel of the boot! best food in italy (of course I’m a little bias) simple, fresh, light and so respectful of the ingredients. i ate it at least once a week growing up :)
This must have amazing taste. One of the most simple Italian recipes includes only pasta with garlic, so this recipe has a lot of their tradition inside. I like garlic a lot, so this is a 5 star recipe in my opinion.
omg this was sooo delicious!!! thx a lot for this recipe – it’s def gonna be served regularly from now on
One thing though – I’ve been reading your posts for quite a time now and I kinda have a bit trouble reading it because the letters are so small… n i actually have a perfect vision
Love it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve realized at 5:15 that I have no clue whatsoever to make for dinner and no ingredients to speak of available. Fast and simple dinner recipes are a staple! This meal is beautiful.
Saints and Sinners in one dish – so balanced! This week I enjoyed a kale ginger salad with yam fries – delicious!
Of course in college I would charge lunch to dad at nice department store with my sister – spinach salad with frango mint hot fudge sundae.
Soooooo making this for the family! Maybe with spinach…
Love this with spinach too, broccoli and even good with brussels sprouts (cooked separately in pan with lots of olive oil, garlic and love!) Yum.
I can’t wait to try this at my next dinner party- the perfect “make when you get in the door” pasta. Thanks!
My mother-in-law made this dish forever and ever. Everybody loved it and I make it as often as I find fresh rape.
I have made this for literally DECADES, using broccoli–and have added caramelized onions, sausage, chicken or turkey breast, or venison, to good effect. It’s a family go-to recipe and will continue to be so.
I had the garlic turning blue thing happen to me last week but I was using kosher salt, so I’m not sure why this happened? Might it have something to do with the garlic itself? This recipe looks great and we just ate some gorgeous broccoli rabe this past week, so I am excited to have a recipe that will motivate me to buy it again.
I do the same with lots and lots of ground black pepper and frozen peas. The starchy water and Parmesan make an impossibly easy cream(y) sauce.
made this tonite with sausage. sensational
Thank you for this one…the fewer the dishes the better and I swear every time you post a recipe I learn some little nugget…you can eat the whole rabe (except the woody stems) who knew!?
Thank you again. Bookmarked Recipe- YAY!
This worked out really well. Super easy and delicious! Highly recommend :)
As simple as this dish may be, it’s a MUST in my Italian family! I grew up eating mine with orecchiette (“little ears” in Italian) pasta, straight-from-the-garden broccoli rabe, and my grandfather’s homemade cheeses.
Move over mac n’ cheese–this is my comfort food!!
You had me at “five cloves of garlic.” yum!
how could I have needed a recipe for that? how could it have been so delicious. thanks for dinner. (made it with swiss chard and gluten-free fusilli).
We love pasta in our house. Broccoli and garlic is a winner combo. I am so making this dish ASAP!
Yesterday I had this pasta (shape) for dinner!
I love broccoli + pasta. I think I would never get tired of this combination :D
i also love short pasta and almost never cook long types … and i make broccoli rabe with radiatori or mafalda or fusilli bacate often … i love these shapes … they hold heavier sauces so well and look so good !!
it may seem like overdoing it but i usually add grated lemon zest and if i have it start by rendering some pancetta….
i definitely am someone who cooks out of the fridge and pantry on a daily basis…. if i’m entertaining i get organized with lists and timetables and extra shopping but i was lucky enough to be brought up by one of those cooks who could make dinner for 4 out of nothing….
she once fed 7 (including 6 hungry teens) caught in a snowstorm at someone else’s summer cottage…. the ingredients; 2 pound of frozen ground beef, olives, a large tin of tomato juice, various dried(-out) herbs,crisco oil, sugar, 4 eggs, flour and strawberry jam…. the results
well admittedly we were very hungry but pasta sugo and palaczinta for seven and we learned how to make pasta as well…..
also wanted to say that i was introduced to this site by a friend last year…. this is the first time o have posted but i have used baking recipes quite a bit and i love them… thank you
Thanks for the recipe! Seriously, yours was the site I went to for inspiration when I was working 9-5 and stuck with the what’s for dinner question? – very helpful, and very delicious!
I made this last night and it was so easy and so good! Finished the meal with your yogurt lime cake with blackberry sauce…perfection. Thank you!
What?! Where is this farmer’s market with all the Spring produce? I haven’t seen much of anything around Brooklyn yet. But as soon as the broccoli rabe comes out, I’ll def be trying this one. Thanks!
I make a very similar dish to this, but I add in artichoke hearts (frozen ones from TJ’s are great!), chopped sundried tomatoes, chicken sausage, & kalamata olives. I also sometimes sub rabe for arugula. It is SO good!
Delicious! I made a close-to-identical meal twice this past week because broccoli rabe was on sale.
Loved it! Next time I will probably cut down the garlic and take the salt out of the oil just because I don’t like super salty things. Thanks for the new recipe!
I have been making a very similar dish as well and it certainly was born from a “What will I make for dinner?” at 6 o’clock situation! I use roasted broccoli, lemon zest and toasted walnuts or pecans to garnish – otherwise its the same recipe :). Love your site!
I do a similar dish with asparagus cooked along with rotini, roasted garlic, grilled or broiled chicken, and halved grape tomatoes. No recipe, no fuss, delicious, my kids heart it. I’m gonna try this — adore “broccolini.”
really good. “Love” pasta. thanks for the recipie.
Re, folks that are using Kosher salt but getting blue/green garlic — I should have clarified this, but there are other reasons this can happen. Table salt — which the original recipe called for — is a big one but there are others listed in the article I linked to, from interaction with certain metals to the age of the garlic.
Thanks for the inspiration tonight! I’m home by myself on a rare occurence, and was going to heat up some leftovers, but I discovered some swiss chard in the fridge to sub in for the broccoli rabe. I charred up some red pepper to add to the garlicky oil as well. I took the chance to experiment shaping cavatelli (instead of my usual pappardelle). I need more practice, but it turned out okay. Thanks for all your great recipes, and actually a little bit of “companionship” tonight :)
I have been a huge fan of yours for a few years now and have finally gotten around to leaving a comment of praise for you. This particular recipe I loved, especially since it was spot on with me reluctantly wanting to cook and took so little time!
Usually when I make quick meals I don’t get such rave reviews from my hubby, but this quick and delicious dinner was just what the both of us needed tonight!
So delicious, keep the cooking and baking coming!
Was so excited to try this tonight – I also added red bell pepper, (turkey) italian sausage, and some lemon juice. Also… I definitely used kosher salt, but my garlic turned blue nonetheless :( Still tastes fabulous!
What a glorious combination! My local market didn’t have broccoli rabe so I bought kale and it was super tasty! thanks for a great recipe using my favorite ingredient- garlic!!
Gorgeous and so quick to make – will be adding it to my rotation. Rabe is really rare in Australia so I used regular broccoli also used half parmesan half pecorino. Next time I might use baby spinach and some diced chicken. YUM!
It’s too funny, this recipe without the broccoli rabe is an old standby of mine for a fast simple pasta meal — but I think from now on I’ll be doing it your way! Thanks for the great idea!
Snap. I posted a garlicky purple sprouting broccoli with pasta recipe on my site on Thursday so it was funny to see this posted the same day. We are obviously on the same wavelength this week Deb…
Well, I’ve got full grown spinach in the fridge, and spring garlic, but no pasta – guess I’ll have to whip up a batch. :-)
I feel kind of snotty saying that – but guys, really, it isn’t that hard and making extra makes it worth it. Then you can just pop it from the freezer and go to town on your pasta with garlicky broccoli rabe (or spinach, in my case.)
I cooked this up tonight and it was beyond easy and also delicious. I added cannellini beans for protein. My kids asked if the rabe was kale. I guess we’re slowly learning our leafy greens.
This is the first recipe of yours that I have tried though I love looking at your posts. It looked so yummy on this rainy day in NYC that I went straight Whole Foods in the pouring rain on Houston and bought the Seggiano pasta and Broc rabe. I’m a HUGE salt fiend, but mine turned out WAY TOO SALTY. The garlic is inedible because it is like eating solid chunks of salt. I used Maldon Sea Salt rather than kosher salt as Maldon is my go to for salt. I’ve never had an issue with something being too salty as I use my standard two pinches. Again, I LOVE SALT. I wake up craving it. Do you think using 1 heaping tsp of Maldon vs. kosher was the issue? I will def make again, just with my two pinches of salt. Keep up your gorgeousness! xxx
Jennifer — Oh no! I am so sorry it was a disaster. And I’m getting all panicky because although I know that what’s listed is what we found to be a great salt level, it sounds high in hindsight. (Though, not for a whole pound of pasta, really.) I’m keeping my eyes peeled in the comments for saltiness concerns and if anyone else has the same experience, will put a big caveat up top. I hope you make it again soon. (P.S. Isn’t that pasta wonderful? We were finishing the dish through the weekend and I never got tired of it… Which will be an expensive habit.)
I completely agree! I’ve been trying to work on my quick-what-ever-I-can-find-in-the-cupboard dinners, I’ll have to make a mental note of this! Gorgeous photos too!
Very hungry now! I can’t wait to try this…
I swear the best things get made from just experimenting with whatever you have in the kitchen – Cooking is all about getting creative in the kitchen I reckon!
After a long day outside trimming hedges, taming my wild climbing rose bushes, and cultivating the garden for planting, I can’t say that I was “eager” to cook a fancy Sunday dinner last night. But after taking a peek at your site for inspiration, I decided a fast but filling dish was in order – before collapsing on the couch for the evening. No broccoli rabe on hand (not sure where to buy it, but we just got a Whole Foods, so I’ll have to check there), but I scoured the fridge and came up with an equally satisfying and fast creation that worked. Thanks for all the inspiration! It’s so easy to just throw a frozen pizza in the oven after a busy day, but SO MUCH more satisfying when you take a few extra minutes to make something fresh!
I love this recipe! I wanted to try it as soon as I saw it so I went and got some broccoli rabe that very night. I added tomatoes, and stir fried tofu and mushrooms and I must say, this dish was a HIT at my house. My boyfriend thanks you very much for introducing us to broccoli rabe and he said it’s now one of his new favorite vegetables!
I love pasta with broccoli rabe precisely for the reasons you mentioned! Quick, delicious and simple! My preferred variations is with black olives and tomatoes…
Thank you for the lovely reminder that delicious need not be time-consuming or tedious. I have to admit that I have a very similar recipe that is my go-to summer pasta when the CSA serves up regular old broccoli, kale or other bitter greens (same deal, chop it up and throw it into the pasta cooking water). It is a guaranteed family-pleaser, and easily amped up with the addition of leftover shredded chicken or grilled sausage.
So pretty – and I bet delicious! I’ll have to try this wit gluten free pasta. Thanks!
This: “This thing where you can grab anything at random without a shopping list in hand or recipe in mind and transform it effortlessly into a LQLACSD, this is real cooking. This is what separates those grandmothers that cranked out dinner like clockwork every night for 60 years, that didn’t throw in the towel because they only had canned peas and stale rice in the pantry, from the dilettantes.”
Yes. My mom is soooo the former, I am sooo the latter, but aspire to be the former. Some day.
Yes! Totally agree that this sort of cooking is when you’ve really MADE IT. I’ve been making a Mark Bittman recipe very similar to this for a couple of years, pasta + spinach + gorgonzola = easy, quick, delicious dinner.
Unbelievably easy and DELICIOUS. I had to do this with swiss chard because my two local supermarkets didn’t have any rapini but I will definitely be searching farther afield next time to find it. I caught my husband finger-swiping the oil out of the bottom of the pot when he was getting ready to do the dishes and my 3-yr-old devoured his. Instant placement in my regular dinner rotation – thank you!!
Wow. I just tried broccoli rabe for the first time on a pizza the other night… and I have never been so disgusted by a vegetable in all my life. And I love vegetables! Seriously, was it cooked wrong? I am shocked to see there are so many lovers of it. It was so bitter I couldn’t even pretend to like it. Wow.
Hi Madeline — The blanching here mellows it quite a bit. This is a good gateway rabe dish. (I’m assuming you wanted to be convinced, right? And not just tell me you found it gross?)
Made this on the weekend – it was great! And very easy. Broccoli rabe is not very common here in Texas so I used kale instead, otherwise everything else was the same. I plan on making the garlic oil weekly to have on hand for other recipes – it was yummy.
I must say, the past few weeks I have barely cooked a thing and reached a nadir, by heating up the frozen meals. However this pulled me out of my funk, and I drove myself to my grocery store, bought some pasta and cheese and quickly came back home. Not seeing the broccoli rabe at my casual grocery store, I figured i’ll just use the asparagus i’ve been saving. But, of course the asparagus was about dead, so I drove all the way to a little gourmet grocery store (phoenix does not offer the greatest grocery stores like NY) and paid a damn $7 dollars for the “organic” rabe.. of course. But I have to give it to you Deb, this is delicious. I have never worked with campanelle, but they’re super cute and fun to eat. I cooked the rabe for only 3 minutes, for more of a crunch, and loaded on the cheese, like a fat cow. Super good!!
I made this tonight with dandelion greens – I had gotten some in a pack of produce and had no clue what to use it for but I thought it would be a good substitute in this, and it was! It was definitely a little spicy, and I added some extra salt – I’m wondering if the salt difference was partially the cheese that I used and if that could account for the difference. Thanks for introducing me to such an easy recipe!
I made this last night and we loved it. I decreased the oil and increased the garlic, as I always do, and it’s delicious and easy. Thanks!
I made this and it was great! I had to use frozen broccoli raab and it had the same cooking time as my pasta. This could not be easier. I topped with a dollop of artisan ricotta.
Get ready girl, because LQLACSD is where working Moms live. I worked til 4:30, then attended one high school soccer game, then most of a middle school game, then the end of another high school game (2-0-1 if you are keeping score). Got home at 8:00, picked a handful of shelling and snow peas and a little tatsoi from the garden and had dinner for the freshly showered guys on the table by 8:30. Chopped a store bought onion, sauteed it with garlic, two carrots from my CSA, CSA kale, the tatsoi and some leftover deli ham from the the weekend until nicely colored. Mixed 1/2 cup of half and half with two eggs, nutmeg, red pepper flakes and a cup-ish of grated pecorino, dumped in hot fusilli with a little of its water, the vegetable mix and called it dinner. I didn’t know it was a LQLACSD, but now I do.
Keep it up. I can never have too many LQLACSDs in my repertoire. I am sure the broccoli rabe will show up in my CSA bin any day now.
Looks delicious! Nothing better than garlic :)
I can almost taste it and and the aroma must be out of this world!
i enjoyed this post! very funny. thanks for the tips on rabe…i am still a little intimidated by all those non-lettuce spring greens!
Thanks so much for your response! I made it again tonight starting with a few pinches of Maldon sea salt. I must admit, I had to keep adding a bit more here and there. I think you are correct with the amount of salt. What happened last nite was that the garlic absorbed the salt while cooking in the olive oil. Next time I am going to add the salt at the end of cooking the garlic. Tonite, I added toasted pine nuts too. DELISH! Oh, and yes, that pasta is the BEST!!! Many thanks again! xx
Pasta, garlic best italy taste. Thanks for recipe:)
Thank you!! We made this with kale raab last night and it was delicious! I have yet to make anything off of your site and not love it.
my family is italian so grew up eating ‘rab-ies’ (like robbies, not rabies) – and everytime i go home, mom will usually have waiting for me a huge pan of rab-ies cooked in garlic and oil – i usually just mound it on italian bread and sprinkle/cover with pecorino and go to town
but veg plus garlic and oil and pasta pretty much always works (we do the same w broccoli and ziti, kale, cauliflower – tho anchovies really help there)
makin me hungry
For you and Jennifer, who found the dish way too salty – Maldon sea salt comes in two different grind sizes. If Jennifer used the fine grind, it is almost a powder and a rounded teaspoon of it would contain a whole lot (scientific measurement) more salt than a teaspoon of kosher salt.
Yumm, one of my faves…for my hungry crew if I don’t have the sausage in the fridge, I add a can of cannelloni beans just to “beef” it up…
Beautiful! I love dishes that just come together with the tiniest bit of inspiration.
Made this for my fiance last night using kale we had on hand and it was yummy! I definitely agree with using only 1/4 cup of oil, there was still plenty of sauce. Served it with some baked BSCB for a quick super tasty meal. Thanks for another dinner staple.
Yes Deb! Sorry… re reading it now I see I didn’t make myself clear. I was just trying to ask… what am I missing? Thanks. Will try. I love your blog ever so much, I would never intentionally comment to say “yuck!”
i LOVE this! YUM!
i make this often & add a little white wine & lemon juice if i have it hanging around.
again – YUM!
I made this dish two nights ago. Followed your recipe, except added the extra heat. Just wanted you to know that it is now in our “rotation”. Simply delicious. And the leftovers are even more delicious. Cold! By the way, I tossed a few toasted pine nuts over the leftovers. Divine. Thank you for a great recipe.
Definitely a good gateway rabe dish. Had it tonight and my husband who does not like it ate it with no complaint. Had kielbasa on the side and it was delicious.
Made this tonight and it was fantastic! It even impressed my Italian husband and he’s one great cook.
Deb, this recipe is brilliant. I toasted panko crumbs with herbs for the top, and this was such a beautiful, tasty, easy dish tonight (not too salty, I used sea salt). My (slightly competitive) boyfriend is determined to make this for our next impromptu kitchen dinner with friends because this is even more delicious and appealing to look at than a similar dish at the bistro around the corner from us- and it’s ready in less time than it takes to walk around the corner and order :)
Amazing! I followed the recipe – almost – exactly! I added 3 extra cloves of garlic and about 3 TBSP of toasted pinenuts. This one will definitely stay in my rotation! Thanks for another great meal!
this is a must add to my list!:D
Brilliant recipe. I’ll have to give this a try!
Wow. This weekend I was just complaining that pasta only tastes good (when garlicky and) at fancy restaurants, and only tastes mediocre everywhere else (…possibly including my dinner table). But this recipe was phenomenally easy and delicious!
I made it with kale — I think I share your reservations about broccoli rabe– and my girlfriend asked me to make it again this Friday. Yes, a mere three nights later. (So I joked that we’d still have Tuesday leftovers on Friday, and she assured me that we wouldn’t!)
This type of recipe is JUST what this 3rd trimester mama-to-be needs, with a waning desire to do much of anything, much less cook, after work!
Three cheers for LQLACSD.
Between my daughter’s dance practice and son’s lacrosse game (6:30 PM start time), I needed something lightening fast yet soul-satisfying for dinner. This dish fit the bill perfectly, and I felt virtuous to boot! Thanks for the inspiration.
For those who find broccoli rabe too bitter, cooking it in an abundant amount amount of boiling salted water (as in this recipe) significantly reduces the bite. Give it a try!
Mmm! I used whole wheat pasta and alot less oil to keep it healthier. I bet this is alot yummier though!
We make this about once a week but I blanch the broc. raab separately and then saute it in a pan with the garlic/olive oil/crushed red pepper. Some times I used a kale/chard mixture instead of b.r. Additions might be sundried tomatos, kalamata olives, feta cheese, Italian sausage….
Canning and Pickling salt is the same volume as table salt with no iodine (or any other weird ingredients.)
1. I do love the whole pasta and green things cooking together. I cook pasta and aparagus and then combine the drained result with arugula/greens, parmesan and a combo of sesame oil, balsalmic vinegar (sp?), salt and garlic.
2. Did a riff on your recipe last night, but thought the broccoli rabe would be more flavorful if sauteed and then combined with a yumtastic paste/sauce of artichoke and garlic that they have at Fairway before adding pasta and parmesan. I got scared of all the oil in your original recipe. I always find that pasta will soak up so much oil and not give much back in terms of flavor.
Made this the other night when I was feeling in the same mood you were. I only had ditalini and spinach but what’s one pasta and green veg for another (mostly)? My meatatarian husband loved it and so did my I’m-not-touching-foods-that-are-mixed 3 year old loved it! Whoohoo! Score for us and simple cooking. Thanks!
P.S. I loved it too :)
This is actually a take on an Italian classic, an Apulian classic to be precise. Orecchiette con cime di rapa. You blanch the broccoli rabe. Then you drain it and quickly sauté it in a pan with garlic and melted-anchovy infused olive oil. Delicious, I could have this pretty much any night for dinner.
I should try this though I’ve never seen brocoli rabe before in Paris…
This looks soooo yum – simple and tasty. Nuts about food has it 100% – I was having a hard time with rabe and couldn’t get it to taste like the restaurants and she is correct – bring to boil – blanch and then i like mine with olive oil and garlic in the pain for a few minutes. Love it with pasta, meat, etc. The other night I did it with shaved meat, mounga? noodles (asian noodles) in the wok and was sooo tasty.
I have adored your site for many years; without exception, your recipes have always been absolutely perfect. I had to post (for the first time) after trying this recipe tonight…. This was amazing, and so incredibly simple! I reduced the oil and added capers and anchovies. My children devoured this, as they are garlic fiends! Thank you for yet another fabulous recipe.
Great recipe. I love garlic and normally have to double the recommended quantity in most recipes but this tastes perfect. I added spring greens which worked really well. I might try chicken or sausage in it next time, but often the veggie versions are the best.
So simple and delicious. I had broccoli to use up (not rabe) and didn’t want to run to the store. After reading this I wanted it and nothing else. My husband and I enjoyed it. Too bad my children (who once would eat practically anything) did not feel the same way. I hope your child manages to keep his accepting palate. I just hope mine regain theirs soon!
I love, love, love, love when you post dinner recipes like this.
I love the shape of the pasta… so beautiful. I also love how you used broccoli rabe in this dish… healthy and delicious! :)
Gorgeous! THat is such unique pasta! I love these healthy pasta dishes, keep ’em coming!
Beautiful dish and photos! Both of my parents were born in Italy. Many of our dinners consisted of fresh and simple garden to table dinners. Thank you for sharing your recipes. Food means love. Ciao
Made this last night and it was a huge hit. I added chicken sausage and it was yummy! After reading the comments, now want to try with feta and the ricotta! Thanks!
Made this last night- so easy, and my four year old was able to contribute by de-stemming the rabe. Added less salt, more garlic, and added a fair amount of spicy pork sausage- it was fast and delicious.
I’m on your site to send someone your chickpea salad recipe–can’t believe I missed banana bread crepe butterscotch cake!
I started making essentially this when I started getting a CSA. Whatever green happened to come in my box that day gets sauteed in a pan with garlic & olive oil while the pasta cooked. Add some chickpeas or white beans. Pasta goes into the pan after draining. (It took me a while to learn about the reserving pasta water trick–so good!)
If you’ve got a little extra time, wedge some tomatoes, throw them on a baking sheet with olive oil, s&p, and fresh herbs and bake. When everthing’s done, a spatula breaks them into pieces over the pasta.
And goat cheese–black pepper encrusted goat cheese!
Thank you! Perfect coming home late from work food. Substituted Kale for the Rabe, quick and fantastic.
Definitely in our rotation. I added toasted walnuts and halved the olive oil. STILL YUMMY. Thanks!
This is yummy. I might sprinkle some paprika for added flavor. :)
yum! making this tonight. thanks for the share
This dish is something I fall back on, often adding lemon zest, sometimes adding can of garbanzos, sometimes subbing escarole. And when it’s done, I wonder why I fretted so much over what I was going to make for supper. Thanks for tip on garlic and iodized salt. … Can’t wait for your cookbook!
Great! I tried a variation using fiddlehead ferns instead of the broccoli rabe. It works!
I made it tonight, very tasty! I added some Italian sausage for a little more flavor, and next time would probably saute the broccoli with some red pepper flakes and salt to add more flavor, instead of adding it in with the pasta. We will make this again.
I just made this with kale instead of broccoli rabe, and I inadvertently crisped the garlic, but that made it tastier, I think. I also added garbanzo beans for more volume + protein. SO delicious, although my breath is going to be garlicky enough to kill a vampire :)
We don’t get broccoli rabe here in Singapore but I’ve made a similar olive oil/garlic ‘sauce’ to go with plain old’ broccoli or green peas, topped with grated cheddar…very quick dinner, very yummy!
oh this looks so good. In fact – the entire site looks delicious. Did I mention I skipped dinner and now it’s 10:42pm. I’ll just go salivate over another beautiful recipe!
Omigosh- All I had was a crumbly old blue cheese- and it was awesome in this recipe! Thank you for the LQLACSD!
Tonight, I will be making this for the second time. With a farm and two small kids, dinner prep happens late and under hectic conditions, to say the least, so I am ever thankful for a quick and delicious idea. I used whole wheat pasta and did grill up some hot Italian sausage (we’re hog farmers, OK, so we don’t often pass up the opportunity to add sausage on the side). It was excellent with and without the meat. I did add more garlic (why not?) and doubled the red pepper. Even my kids loved this!
Most of the time the simplest things that make the best meals,broccoli rabe and pasta are my weakness as of matter fact I am going to close my computer and start making these delicious dish,
I tried broccoli rabe once before and hated it. Tried this recipe – still hate it, but hubby ate it with gusto. I’ll make it again and I’ll just pick out those bitter veggies or maybe try it with escarole or kale.
When I read the recipe, I thought it was going to be too oily, but not at all. Perfect amount of oil and garlic.
Deb, first of all, I adore you and your blog! Secondly, can’t wait for the cookbook. Thirdly, this dish is served hot. Did you have it cold as well? Is it good cold? Is it easily reheated? I’m thinking of taking it to a lunch potluck and would like to have it done before we leave. Thoughts?
Hope you are having a great week!
Hi — I think this dish would be fine lukewarm. Of course, I have no class and regularly eat leftover pasta cold from the fridge for lunch — and found this one quite excellent the next day.
I couldn’t fine any beautiful pasta like the one you used so I had to go with Farfale. However the dish turned out to be SUPERB (and stunning). I used Grape Seed Oil and 1 full heaping teaspoon of red pepper flakes. My husband loved it enough to eat the leftovers the next day as dinner (and we don’t usually save leftovers). The pasta was even good cold. I can imagine taking it as a cold pasta salad for a pot luck/ picnic. I am already imagining tripling this recipe to serve alongside Pugliese bread and salad to 13 or so people we will host for a church video series. Can’t wait to make this again. Thank you for the recipe!
I have a feeling that this delicious dish will become A) a go-to recipe for those “what do I make for dinner tonight?” days and B) a new comfort food. Thank you so much!
I made this tonight my husband and I devoured it! I love the way the water from the broccoli rabe made the sauce creamy. So much easier than sautéing the broccoli rate which is my usual way of making this dish.
hi everybody! Can i get some quick advice on how to make this with swiss chard? i made the recipe above exactly with the broccoli rabe and LOVED it! but now i have some chard in the fridge i need to use, and would like to try it with this, but i am new to using chard. Can i put it in the pasta water like the rabe? or do i need to cook it separately and then squeeze the water out of it before adding to the pasta?
Hi NancyRivera — Use it the same way. It should need less cooking time, two or three minutes less.
Hi! I make something like this quite often with Swiss chard, but I’ve never been inspired to try brocolli rabe before. Thanks for introducing a new veggie!
When I made this, I had a lot leftover (the perils of cooking for one), but it made a great second day soup with the addition of some mushrooms rehydrated in hot water with some white wine, a chopped shallot, and thyme. 2 meals (and lunches the next day) with less than 10 minutes of prep!
NancyRivera – when I make it, I just chop up the chard and then add it to the last minute or two of pasta boiling and then drain it all together.
Delicious and, almost as important, easy and quick to make!
Thank you for sharing it here.
And I am also tickled to be able to add rapini to my little boy’s repertoire of bitter greens. Thanks again! We all liked it so much.
This was delicious! The whole family loved it. Next time I’m thinking about adding a little spicy sausage or perhaps some crunchy, toasty, olive oil croutons. Thanks for constantly inspiring me to get into the kitchen. xo
This was great! I made it last night, subbing collard greens (cuz I had a bunch lying around) for broccoli rabe, and I included some pine nuts, capers, and fresh basil. Super simple, quick, and really, really tasty.
I’m not sure which looks more luscious. The broccoli rabe or that wonderful pasta. I love the shapes and textures in this dish.
I think Broccoli Rabe is totally underrated and underused. Combined with some chunky garlic and olive oil – I could just eat a whole bowl. Adding a splash of fresh lemon is a nice touch too :)
I’m posting again but wanted to share that I made this again with kale.
It was almost as good.
I could not find rapini or even chard in the market but I had half a bag of kale in the fridge.
I made sure the kale had five or six minutes in the pot. It might have benefitted from slightly more time. But my Husband ate more than have of the recipe and he claims to not care for kale.
I want to eat this recipe three times a day, seven days a week!
Thank you again for sharing it!
I can’t make it through all the comments, so if I am repetitive, I apologize!
I make a similar dish on a regular basis – why discard the “heavy” stems? No need to! Cook them a bit longer than the leaves (as I do)….They get really tender.
I try to use every bit of a vegetable that I can (stems, leaves, green tops…for example, I thinly shred up broccoli stalks with a vegetable peeler directly on top of salad).
this is so ridiculously good. i was dragging my feet with no inspiration to cook, but this looked so good i even went to the store for the rabe. i make a similar dish with escarole, but this was my first time trying rabe. immediate convert. i was roasting sweet onion slices (was heating the oven for flatbread anyway and onions seemed like they’d be good in this) so i followed someone else’s suggestion to roast a handful of the chopped rabe, too, while the rest went in the pasta water. the roasted rabe didn’t stay very crunchy once it was tossed with the pasta, but it lent a lovely smoky flavor and a different texture. i also threw in a rinsed, drained can of chickpeas. exactly what i didn’t know i wanted for dinner!
This was delish!! I added some pan roasted baby portobello mushrooms after draining the pasta but otherwise kept to the recipe. It was so tasty and only took about 20 minutes.
Two comments. This has become a new comfort food for me. I’ve made it at least 3 times and have rabe in the frig waiting for me to make it tonight. The fact that other people in my family are not as in love with it as I am is almost a bonus, since every one is old enough to fiend for themselves if need be.
The second comment is that the first time that I followed the recipe it was way too salty for me as well, so since then I’ve been juggling the salt to find a good balance.
I just made this tonight for dinner. I may have overestimated how much broccoli rabe I had, because my dish was mostly pasta. Not too bad – the oil on both the pasta and the broccoli rabe was especially tasty.
I’d never had broccoli rabe before, so this was an interesting experiment for me. I thought it was pretty bland. I guess I was expecting something more bitter and with more flavor, like Italian broccoli. So maybe next time I’ll try making this with Italian broccoli instead.
prepared with cauliflower and bowtie+penne pastas. Delicious!
Brilliant. Fantastic cooking method. Gorgeous presentation. 5 Star all the way. A+++
I made this last night for me and my sweetheart, we both loved it! so good and easy and quick! but there was too much salt. i think a leveled teaspoon might be best. actually, i do wonder, should kosher salt or table salt be used when boiling the pasta? not sure if this really matter.
Do you have to rinse pasta and broccoli rabe after boiling in the water? I’m so going to try this recipe tomorrow, it sounds very delicious!
Hi Nila — No reason to rinse.
Thanks for this recipe, Deb! It’s so good and so easy that my husband (also an Alex!) has given up his beloved weekly dose of spaghetti and jarred red sauce for it.
Kale is our current favourite riff but plain broccoli is pretty good too!
I’m just a little late to the party; I’m having this tonight. Think I’ll throw in some buttery browned panko. The broccoli rabe is growing in my garden as we speak! I harvested what is probably the last of the season lettuces today. I’m thinking of this as a “pre-Sandy” celebration; a little broccoli rabe and pasta, a little wine, a little more wine! And, we just may have some popcorn later.
I made the pear/chocolate scones yesterday, and we are loving them! Maybe they’ll follow the popcorn, who knows!?
Hi love the blog. I tried to make this with thin soba noodles and kale. I couldnt find broccoli rabe in Australia! Still delicious. Thank you for easy meal ;)
I made this last night, so easy and delicious. I can think of a ton of alterations with different veggies, thanks for the inspiration!
This was incredible and super fast! We’ll be making this regularly for sure. It’s one of those “wish I would have thought of it” recipes!
best weeknight dinner ever. i had baby broccoli on hand so i used that instead of broccoli rabe. i also threw in some italian spice mix that i’ve been meaning to test out. fast and healthy but still filling and comforting. love.
plus anchovies – don’t forget the anchovies! when you heat up the oil add anchovies. supposedly if you put them in at the same time as the oil they don’t splatter as much but i always keep a lid ready to shield the splatter. nice blog!
Great recipe but I added Italian sausage along with ooil,pepper flakes & lots of garlic. Also great on pizza
I just made this and it was gone in a flash! Loved it!
Can you use kale as a sub for rabe in this recipe? I have never boiled kale before only roasted or sauteed.
Awesome! I made it last night, though i couldn’t find the rabe.. (i’m not really sure what the exact translation is in Dutch) so i just bought two really large broccoli’s which i chopped into very small pieces. It’s such a simple but great dish! The only thing is that the garlic woke me up in the middle of the night! ;-)
Made this dish tonight! Delish!!!! I used Rice pasta to make it Gluten free and added Calamata olives and freshly ground parm…. yummmy!
I made this will kale and it’s fantastic! I added some chick peas for protein and the flavors worked really well together.
I always add precooked chopped up homemade hot sausage. Love it!
I am a HUGE fan of yours. But I had a really big problem with this dish! PLEASE add that the pasta and rabe should be strained through a fine strainer! I regularly use a pasta strainer which happens to have larger holes. I live by myself and this one is specifically made so it stays put across the sink while pouring the boiling water, so it’s usually perfect. Today I ended up pouring almost half of my rabe down the drain before I realized what I had done (black strainer, dark kitchen). I am sooo disappointed because I’m in the middle of final exams at university and was so excited to eat a filling but vegetable filled dinner/tomorrows lunch/tomorrows dinner :(. anyways, you get the picture. It was still absolutely delicious, but exam-stressed mines don’t deal well with disappointment!
Holly — Oh no! I always leave mine so chunky, I’ve never lost any great amount of pasta. (Did you cut yours more finely?) Good luck with your exams. I hope that whatever you salvaged was still delicious.
Deb, thanks! This is one of the few recipes of yours that I can say truly has made it into my everyday repertoire with about a million variations. (I cook from the site all the time, but usually not as a just-throw-dinner-together-tonight sort of cooking.)
Killer quick recipe! Super easy, great flavors and healthy. What more could you ask for? I used Orecchiette (No 91) pasta and chopped the rabe small so it gets into all the nooks and crannies.
This recipe just lends itself to experimentation. I think next time I’ll try adding some sauteed grape tomatoes for a pop of color and a little different flavor or maybe some sun dried tomatoes or some Shitake mushrooms!
I just made this again. So flipping good. And happily, I found the “little bells” pasta shape this time. :)
This may sound like a really stupid question, but where do you find broccoli rabe? I’ve been looking for months at Kroger (an average Midwestern/Southern grocery supermarket), Harris Teeter (which seems to be a slightly more upscale Southeastern chain), and even my local Trader Joe’s and can’t seem to find it by any of the names others have called it by. I have found broccolini, but that looks really different. Is it incredibly seasonal and/or regional? Because I feel like my relatives in New York (both the city and upstate) talk about cooking with rabe all the time. Would I have a harder time finding it in a smaller city in the South?
Matt — As I’m not an expert on shopping anywhere but where I’ve lived, I hope someone else will jump in. It’s definitely in season now in the Northeast, for whatever that’s worth.
Sounds wonderful. We do not get broccoli rabe here. Do you think kale is a good substitute?
Oh, Harris Teeter got in broccoli rabe since I checked a few weeks ago and I made this tonight. I think I put in the rabe into the water a bit too early, but this was great!
Absolutely delicious!! I followed recipe exactly and loved it. I may add some fresh tomatoes next time. Thank you!
It’s usually not very easy to find broccoli rabe in an area that doesn’t have a good sized Italian or Portuguese population. It seems that a lot of people who didn’t grow up eating it find it weird and bitter. I’d imagine that it would be hard to find in most of the Midwest, I know my friend who is living in Indiana eats a bunch of it every time she’s home in RI because she can’t find it anywhere there.
BUT, there is a chinese vegetable that has a very similar taste to rabe, and is easy to find in any asian grocery store. It’s called kai-lan. Hope this helps!
Just made this with kale and spaghetti. Wowza, so good! I am kind of shocked at how a few simple ingredients can form such a delicious dish. Every last bit was eaten and there are no leftovers. Thank you so much for this recipe!
I can’t get neither broccoli rabe or Kale… do you have other ingredient with the same properties?
Mariella — I suggest broccoli or broccolini as substitutes in the head notes.
I’m interested in seeing how you organize your kitchen – I understand from your writing that it’s quite small. I have a kitchen that’s a little bigger but am constantly looking for things!
This is also great with broccoli florets, which I am much more likely to have around than Rabe. This is a fast meal that is shockingly delicious. Anyone I ever serve it to – you can see their expression from “yeah right, broccoli & pasta, how boring” to watching their eyes light up to the entire pot being devoured with no leftovers.
Tried it tonight with some little substitutions for things I was out of (and extras on hand), added shallot/onion/mushroom and a couple zucchini cubes to the heated oil w/ garlic. Thinly grated provolone in place of parmesan. No pepper flakes but a tiny dash of sriracha in its place. Turned out delicious.
Great blog! I do realize I am 1&1/2 years late but have to comment. Broccoli rabe is my go-to comfort food but always sauteed it and enjoyed the hearty bitter bite along with sweet Italian sausage. Now eating totally plant based I now prefer it cooked with the pasta with a small amount of diced tomato. Mellower and to my taste doesn’t need cheese at all. Thank you for the recipe. Stumbled onto your blog after googling winter squash!
I love your blog, your cookbook and I LOVE LOVE this pasta dish. Its simple, delicious and always hits the spot. Thank you.
I love your recipes and I have your book and I never want you to disappear! This is tomorrow’s dinner. Thanks! I trust your recipes implicitly.
Oh and I forgot to mention that we buy that pasta too, and my 2 year old affectionately named them “Ruffly Noodles” – they are his favorite. They are organic, and made with antique brass fittings for the extrusion, which allows the noodle to grab your oil/sauce better (rougher texture). We love them!!
I’ve been making this dish pretty regularly for the last 8 months, and I realized tonight that I need to thank you for it. Whenever I find myself ordering too much takeout (an all-too-frequent occurrence), this is the dish that gets me back into the kitchen. I love to cook complicated meals and need things like this to remind me that I can make something quick AND easy AND delicious.
Thanks for this quick recipe! Was so easy and delicious. Great for a quick lunch on a lazy week day spent at home – had been tempted to order in, but this was much better inspiration. I used frozen rabe purchased last week from whole foods and whole wheat penne. Glad I saved money and chose a healthier option!
I was scared – scared! – to make broccoli rabe. My Boyfriend the Scientist thinks I suffer from taste buds that are quite sensitive to bitter and so I cannot appreciate the sweet flavor of broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc. (Sweet? maybe he’s the one with the weird buds…). This was GREAT. If you are scared of bitter, I promise that blanching the rabe takes it way down.
Deb, thank you yet again. It was quick, it was cheap, it was satisfying, and it was GOOD!
I make something similiar but I leave out the pasta and saute a rinsed can or two of cannellini/white beans with the garlic and mix with the broccoli raab, delicious!
Thank you so much for this amazing, simple dish! I love that it has so few ingredients but so much flavor. I especially love the garlic browned in the olive oil. I made it tonight for my husband and two boys. They emptied their plates and my husband even went back for seconds!
I cooked the broccoli rabe about 4 minutes. I think this was too much because the broccoli rabe was over-cooked (to our particular taste). Next time I’ll try 3 minutes, because there will be a next time.
I’ve been making this often since you first posted it, and was inspired last night to put it on a pizza instead of serving it with pasta. I topped the pizza with broccoli rabe sautéed with garlic and olive oil, spicy Italian sausage, and a little each of ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Delish!
Love this recipe, been making it for years. FYI just made it with quinoa instead of pasta, just as good!
This is a classic Roman dish, but you would also add a bit of minced anchovies with the garlic and finish with pecorino. Very tasty.
This was the first dish that I made from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which tells you how long I’ve been making this. I love it, and yes, it is quick. She recommends orecchiette and I do love that sturdy little pasta with the broccoli rabe.
Between the recipe and the quick biochemistry lesson from the link you posted about blueing garlic, I’ll have all sorts of things to chew on by the time I get home from the market. Thank you!
Half cup of olive oil seems like a lot? Do you think I could reduce the amount if I add in a bit of the cooking liquid at the end? Will give it a try tomorrow night. As others have already mentioned, I plan to throw in some beans — chick peas probably — to complete the protein, and crown with some grated mizithra I need to use up. Thanks for an easy peasy dinner idea.
You can reduce it, I sometimes do, but for 1 full pound of pasta and 1 full pound of greens, it’s not as much as it sounds. (1/4 cup would be totally average for 1/2 pound pasta, or 1T per small serving.)
Yuuum! Our grocery store didn’t have rabe or your fancy pasta, so we used mustard greens and medium shells and it was beautiful! Tearing up that big pile of leafy greens was the perfect sequel to being able to walk from my car into daycare WITHOUT PUTTING ON A JACKET!!! Spring might actually come again…
I made this dish for the second time tonight. I’ve only succeeded in finding the broccoli rabe one time, so this time I used kale. It was great! We always have kale in the house so now we can eat it more often.
Loved it! Pro tip: only cook it with half the olive oil, and add the other half AFTER tossing with the pasta. This preserves more of that sweet, sweet olive oil taste (which disappears after cooking at high temp).
first time I made just as direction stated, second time added chicken iti sausage and maybe 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella again delish and husband loved it THANK YOU will be looking at more of Smithen Kitchen
This is one of our favorite recipes and it comes together so quickly. We top it with grated Mizithra cheese and it’s delicious! Love you Smitten Kitchen!
At the market in Southern Italy this morning I bought some broccoli rabe in the market. Searched for a recipe and found yours. I had all the other ingredients in my house. I made half the recipe and it served 3 along with a salad. It is my new favorite. Grazie mille.
DeB! I loved meeting you last year after a WNYC live recording (the one where you made pecorino kale popcorn with Melissa Clark!). You are just as warm, comforting, and lovely as your recipes. Thank you for this extra reliable pasta, which I immediately memorized, and have made probably… dozens of times. I like to bring it to potlucks, etc. Riff on it regularly. I’m pretty sure I told you thank you in person, but seriously, this is one of your best recipes.
I second what Charles says: There’s something about reserving some of the oil so that beautiful sweet flavor can sing in a different way. I’ve tossed in a little bit of the pasta water and it helps to keep the rabe from clumping together. ugh. LOVE!
I made this last night with a few changes and must say that it was DELICIOUS. I could not find broccoli rabe and used dinosaur kale instead which I actually braised alone with the onion with a little chicken stock. It was great. I also added 2 more cloves of garlic. Topped it with chanterelles and toasted hazelnuts. It was a true fall dish. Using the basic layout of this recipe, you can tweak it as you see fit and it’s really tasty.
Made this for dinner tonight, adding some sauteed chicken tenders that I cut into bite-sized pieces. It made for a great dinner!
Sounds Great! I just bought 2 bunches of Broccoli Rabe. Going to make this with one of the bunches. But going to add boneless skinless chicken thighs to the olive oil garlic pan, then add the pasta/rabe to it.
I prefer blanching the broccoli rabe first, then rapidly cooled in ice cold water. I chop the cooled veggie into 1-1/2 pieces. This method removes some of the bitterness of the broccoli rabe which I find can overwhelm a dish and my tastebuds. This is a very classic dish in my family, always made with short-cut pasta. Thanks for a reminder that it’s time to make it!
I love broccoli rabe but have never had great success cooking with it…..until this recipe! I threw in some chicken sausage (and next time will try the cannellini beans referenced above). Excellent recipe (and now I can’t wait for tomorrow’s lunch to have some leftovers)!
I’ve made this a couple of times now and its great! Also works well as a broccolini/asparagus combo.
Oh my goodness! this was sooo good. Love it can be served with or without the cheese.
Made this last night in an effort to show my husband that broccoli rabe could be delicious. He is now convinced. I used only 1/2 lb. pasta (it was for hubby and me, with leftovers), but I used 3/4 lb. broccoli rabe since we like pasta that has more veggies than pasta. For the 1/2 lb. pasta I used less olive oil but same number of garlic. It was terrific.
I made this again tonight and it’s still the simplest most delicious way to eat broccoli rabe I’ve found. Love it!!
Thank you for posting this recipe. This is an old world Italian recipe that my mom & her mom & her mom have made forever. I just have forgotten about it. My oldest son is a picky eater & he thought the rapini was too bitter for him. Well he has since moved out so I’m going back to making this wonderful dish! Thank you for sharing it with the world, this way everyone can enjoy it as much as I do! That first bite will seem like going back into my mother’s arms! Such a good, warm feeling! This is Italian comfort food! Grazi!
Made this tonight with asparagus instead of broccoli rabe. It worked great. I love the garlic oil!
Was going to make quinoa burgers tonight but decided while at the grocery store that I just wasn’t up for all the prepping, chopping, mixing, shaping. Remembered that you had just re-posted this, only needed 2 ingredients from the store. So much easier! Thank you!
Made this tonight. Adjusted all for 1/2 the amount, and there was plenty for two of us to eat and some leftovers for tomorrow. It was terrific! Easy to make and not much to clean up (although I did do the garlic and olive oil in a separate small fry pan). Thanks, Deb!
Do you offer nutrition and calorie information for this dish? Or any of your dishes?
I do not but frequently use this tool to look them up.
I love your blog! You’re a fantastic writer with a unique voice without coming across as pretentious. Your photos are superb, you seem down-to-earth, and everything looks delicious. Not only that, but you have definitely carved out a niche for yourself in the cooking world. When I think “brown butter,” I think “Smitten Kitchen.” Your blog has a cozy atmosphere and I always look forward to checking out your new recipes! I haven’t tried any of them yet because I just found your blog and I’m in the process of moving, but I look forward to giving them a whirl in the future! Thanks for your hard work.
next time just cook the broccoli rabe in the sauteed garlic and olive oil, you don’t have to cook the rabe first, then toss it all together with the cooked pasta. you can use some of the pasta cooking water to thin the olive oil mixture.
This is absolutely delicious! I’m trying to get my family to eat more vegetarian meals — this one gets five stars! Thanks!
We *love* this recipe! It’s a mainstay in our home because it is so easy and sooo garlicky! Sometimes we will add a little bit of pasta water to help bring everything together, but I wouldn’t say that’s necessary. <3
I forgot how much I love a simple pasta dish!! I’m not typically one to leave a comment about a recipe, especially if I’ve changed something due to not having/finding a particular ingredient or my preferences for another, but I want to share I added the zest of a lemon to the garlic oil and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end while mixing everything together. I served this pasta with leftovers of The NY Times Food Roasted Chicken Provençal recipe. And I stuffed myself it was so good! Thanks for bringing this into our lives!
Thanks SK – this is in the cue for tonight’s meal. We do it as a one pot dish – cook the pasta, add the chopped broc. rabe part way through, drain the whole thing, return the pasta pot to the heat, cook the garlic and oil, red pepper flakes, etc… then add the pasta and rabe back in to reheat and serve with the cheese shaved on top. Yummy.
Love this! So quick and fast and makes you feel like “Ah YES, I have MADE DINNER.” Also delicious is to buy a chorizo and throw it in with the oil and garlic. real tasty.
Delicious! I added smoked salmon. Totally rad.
Yummmm! I couldn’t find any broccoli rabe at the supermarket, so I had to use broccolini instead (I know it’s not a bitter green, but it seemed right). I did up the garlic because I adore the stuff. So good, light but still satisfying! Definitely making this again!
I needed a quick dinner tonight so it wouldn’t interfere with my pre-oscars red carpet watching, and all four of us (picky five year old included) gobbled this up. Thanks for another winner.
Yeah this is such an awkwardly named vegetable. Old-school name: rape. New-school name: canola! Now we’re not so keen on canola cos of the oils situation: ‘broccoli rabe’. Awkward. Just call it by its Italian name: rapa.
Added crabmeat to the oil mixture to heat up. Wow is all I can say.
We try for some protein in every meal…I’m wondering how shrimp would fit into this dish. Has anyone tried it? (I suggested shrimp because I like to test recipes to serve to our vegetarian + fish friends.
I haven’t made it with shrimp but two other commenters mention doing their own version with these ingredients + shrimp so you’re probably onto something!
I love this. I love one-dish meals. I love the brilliant summer green of the rabe, the toothsome chewiness of the pasta, the jaw-stabbing bite of the garlic and the quick breathless gasp of the red pepper flakes and the pungent velvet of the cheese. This is perfect summer food. I threw a couple of bright purple-y red “chocolate” heirloom tomatoes on each plate with a (very small) chunk of toasty sourdough bread crunch with olive oil, and poured (another) glass of Prosecco and put on Jean Sablon and life was fabulous. Is fabulous. Thanks so much!
We made this. It wasn’t great. It was bland. Won’t make again.
Fantastic! Made it with spaghetti noodles and broccolini (Is that the same thing as broccoli rabe? I couldn’t find broccoli rabe in any stores – and I looked in 4 different ones!). We ate it with salmon (seasoned with plain salt and pepper and baked in the oven @ 425 ~ 10 min). Delicious and I’ll make it again for sure!
This is a regular in our house. We often use a big bunch of kale in place of the broccoli rabe. This is a go to for my teenage daughter to make for her friends. Often we cut the pasta in half if we’re not feeding a crowd (if we do use only half the pasta we will cut back on the salt and red pepper). At times we add pine nuts, as well as lemon zest and lemon juice. Recipes like these that can be made with what we typically have in our pantry and fridge are our favorites! Thanks Deb!
I made this exactly per the recipe and it was ridiculously easy. It was pretty good too! The only issue I had is it was a little bitter. Not sure if that’s just broccoli rabe’s natural taste or maybe I overcooked the garlic (it wasn’t burned)? I also kept a lot of the small stems from the rabe but tossed the big ones, so I’m curious if maybe too many stems made it bitter. Or it could just be my pregnant taste buds…everything tastes different now. I will definitely be making this again so would like to know how l can get it perfect next time. Thanks as always for giving us another great recipe Deb!
Broccoli rabe IS bitter. It may take a bit of getting used to; when I first tasted it, I thought, “Is this stuff supposed to taste like this?” But now I love it. Some bunches are less bitter than others though.
You could parcook it–just a minute or two in a big pot of water to leach out some of the bitterness–before you continue with the recipe, though since this is already cooked in a lot of water that procedure may not make so much difference, and it will up the cooking time/effort.
Maybe better to substitute a different green: kale or broccoli if it’s an issue.
How many does this serve?
4 to 6
I made this tonight and it was the first time that all 4 of my family members actually ate the same thing. Winner!!
Love your recipes, Deb. You are an inspiration always and this kind of easy recipe helps us all to change things up for dinner – simply!
Keep the creative powers going…..I try to cook in season and this is a great dish for nearly all four seasons!
Have made this before and I enjoyed it but my husband wasn’t super into it (he was struggling a bit with the bitterness of the broccoli rabe and also wanted more “stuff” so it wasn’t just the pasta and greens). Last night I made it again but I added some ground turkey that I had seasoned with Italian sausage seasonings (my new favorite party trick as we’re currently not eating pork and this works surprisingly well). I also used Banza chickpea pasta – this comes in an 8 oz box but I kept all the other measurements in the recipe the same. This was SO GOOD. My husband was raving about it. I probably should have cut the oil back a bit, especially because there was some added juiciness from cooking the ground turkey, but I remember it feeling a bit dry the first time I had made it and wasn’t fully thinking through the fact that I was using half the amount of pasta! I would cut it down to 1/3 cup of oil making it with the Banza again. I cooked the ground turkey right in the pasta pot after draining, then removed it to add in the oil + garlic, then dumped everything back in the pot off the heat to stir it all together. I drained the pasta a minute or two shy of al dente so that it wouldn’t turn to mush when I added it back to the pot. I am trying to add a wider variety of greens into our diet and this checked so many boxes — healthy, quick, easy, and 1 pot! Thanks Deb! :)
Just made this, as in, I’m typing while eating. This recipe is seriously simple to cook (thumbs up). The flavors are clean and delicious (second thumbs up). I love garlic, I love the bit of heat from the crushed red pepper, and I love the copious amounts of cheese on top. I also liked the quantity of pasta this made; I’ve got a head start on my meal planning tomorrow (third thumbs up?).
You say serve immediately but does it also hold up as leftovers or to make ahead and take to a potluck?
Yes, but you can hold back a little of the garlic oil (or half of it) to mix right before so it tastes fresher and looser when you do.
Golly this was tasty. A perfect meal for a night too hot to cook – and to use up that kinda sad looking half bunch of rabe in the back of the fridge. (Leftover from making the rabe-sausage pasta bake made recently when it was still chilly at night!)
Do you think kale would work in place of the rabe? It seems to be impossible to buy in the UK
I love you! This dinner is a lifesaver and for something so simple and quick, it tastes fantastic. I could subsist on your Sally Lunn bread with brown butter for breakfast, this for lunch and dinner and your oatmeal cookies for dessert every single day and be incredibly happy.
This came up on IG today and it was the perfect inspiration!
I used whole wheat rotini and frozen chopped mixed greens (spinach, kale, collard greens) because those are what I already had.
My 5 year old son could not get enough!
Crave-Worthy! Triumphant, quick and delicious. Added a few sun dried tomatoes to the sizzling garlic chili oil on the second pass. Definitely, a dish that will get lots of airplay here. Thanks Deb!
This was delicious! We added a few extra cloves of garlic and bacon (omitting the salt). I think this was the first time I had gone out and bought broccoli rabe but will definitely add this to our list of quick, easy and delicious dinners. Thanks!
Delicious! I made this today with broccoli rabe from my garden. I went all the way Italian and added some anchovies to the garlic/oil mix – wonderful!
This is my all time favorite make it at least monthly recipe!!!! I planted broccoli rabe in my nonexistent garden so I could make this more often. Lately I’ve been on a weight loss kick and have doubled the rabe and used chickpea pasta and it’s still heaven. Absolutely love your site and your cookbooks!!!
Unrelated question, but I’m curious what labels you use for your cute little red pepper jar? I have the same ones and have been looking for a label for them. Thanks!!
Have made this a ton of times, it’s a family favorite. I do halve the amount of pasta, oil, and spice, but keep the amount the broccoli rabe the same. I feel like the proportion of pasta to broccoli rabe is much better that way. Also throw in a few links of mild italian sausage. Perfect!
I’ve made this for years but never thought to add the broccoli rabe to the pasta instead of boiling separately! Great idea. One addition that sounds weird/awful but makes this dish AMAZING—-raisins! (I think my original recipe came from Northern Italy!).
Such a good recipe! The garlic oil is amazing! On this occasion, I couldn’t find broccoli rabe, so I used a hearty kale. I also ran out of oil halfway and finished with lemon infused olive oil. Delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!
This was a win with my family. The rabe kind of melted away into teeny tiny pieces that left the dish looking like pesto, so my picky kids didn’t mind the veggie infusion. Added some chickpeas for a little extra protein. Delicious leftovers as well!
Deb–I’ve loved you for years and frequently turn to your site for recipes of all kinds. My husband and I recently returned home to Maryland from where we live in Zambia to stay with my parents during the COVID-19 crisis. I made the pasta and garlicky broccoli rabe for the family and they loved it! My brother had it as a side for chicken, my mom added canned clams for her and my dad and my husband and I had it as a main. Thank you and hoping you and your family are staying safe and healthy.
Finally made this last night. Very easy, came together quickly, great flavour! I’m going to make this often I think!
This is such a wonderful recipe!! Easy and delicious. I ate it for dinner and then for breakfast. Highly recommend!
I love, love this pasta! I like to double the rabe for a more veg-heavy dinner, and add some ricotta on top (if I’ve got it) with a drizzle of olive oil.
One of my all-time Deb favorites. Today I discovered, through sheer heat-related laziness, that it’s just as delicious cold, topped with fresh parm.
This is such a wonderful recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!
I make broccoli rabe / pasta all the time, but never thought of adding it TO the pasta water! What an ingenious quick hint, thank you!
Delicious! The vegans and non-vegans in our family loved it!
An excellent non iodized salt to use as a table salt is Redmond’s Real Salt, – https://redmond.life/realsalt/ – It doesn’t have any chemicals or iodine added so it has a cleaner taste and also has trace minerals in it that is good for you. We have been using it for decades and I do take 1 drop of iodine almost every day for the thyroid.
I’ve been looking for the perfect recipe for this for a long time and Deb did fail. I live with a carnivore and a vegan, who both rave about this dish. I cook some turkey Italian sausage on the foreman grill while making the pasta and everyone’s happy.
Great basic recipe, I tweak it like this.
Sauté garlic & oil in a BIG sauce pan. After draining your pasta & rabe, toss them into the BIG sauce pan. The hot pasta & rabe will then absorb every sticky bit of the garlic & oil goodness.
Also – I always add a few squigs of tomato paste from a tube, and even fewer squigs from a tube of anchovies, to the evo & garlic. I keep the amounts small, but feel the flavor payoff is big. Swirl the squigs around the oils and get the flavors toasty & all incorporated. I add the red pepper flakes at the end just before adding the pasta & rabe. I don’t like the pepper to get cooked, singed, at all. I think the red pepper flakes are very delicate. Choosing Parm or Romano? So different from each other and I love them both! In large quantities. ps – I’ve started making this dish a lot with plain old spaghetti and love it. pps – I also make this often with plain old broccoli. Make sure to peel & thinly slice the stems and use them too.
Such a good idea! My grocery store didn’t have broccoli rabe, so I used kale instead (making it a totally different dish, I guess!) It was still delicious. I will say, I added a generous amount of salt to my pasta water and that made the dish a bit too salty overall in the end. Next time I hope to have the right ingredients, and will remember not to salt the pasta & veg!
I’m amazed by how amazing this tastes with such simple ingredients!! (I did put a bit of butter in with the oil though…)
I wish it were easier to find broccoli rabe in my area! Seems much more common in the northeast than here (I’m in NC). Finally got some in my CSA box so it was my chance to finally make this. I’ll keep it in rotation for sure, and will just do what I do for the pasta/broccoli rabe bake recipe – sub broccoli and kale. Next time I will reduce the oil and salt, or start with lower quantities and add to it. It was way too salty and oily for some reason, maybe because my broccoli rabe bunch was sadly
quite small so it made for less food to coat. I added baby mozzarella balls and of course parm. It was even better cold leftover for lunch today than it was last night! A keeper recipe for sure.
Kelly, I just used some nice fresh kale. Worked well
Love this recipe. I make it exactly as written and have to watch myself because if unchecked, I could probably eat it until I explode. Which wouldn’t be the worst way to go.
Your comment made me laugh, Darlene! I agree with you on both counts – too easy to keep eating this pasta, and yes, it wouldn’t be the worst way to go.
Read your blog post today and decided I needed to make this dish for dinner tonight. It was so easy and delicious. Keeper! Thank you.
Could you substitute Swiss chard instead of the rabe?
Absolutely! Hardy greens are generally interchangeable. You may just need to adjust cooking times a bit based on the greens you use.
Yes, although I might simmer it for just 1 to 2 minutes.
Loved this! but beware if you like loads of parm cheese, use less salt in the water etc. Mine came too salty
I took left over turkey, cut it up into small cubes, Put some fresh herbs and some fennel seed (roasted and ground in mortar and pestle) in with the garlic and olive oil. Added that to the recipe. Didn’t have broccoli rabe, did fresh kale instead
Recipe was a great jumping off point to use things in the fridge for a quick great dinner
I also did your dry brined turkey this year, it was a HIT!
We made this, we LOVED it. Incredibly satisfying flavour and delightful texture. Thank you!
How many servings does the pasta broccoli rabe recipe serve
I’ve made this many times and I would say 4-6 as a main course,
I make this at least twice a month. I always double the rapini. It’s an absolute favorite and never does anyone complain that we just had it a week or two ago 🤣. I’ll even make half just for myself!
I do the exact same thing with kale. Has rescued many an evening.
I had to have multiple hard conversations after my work day and was very grumpy. And then I made this pasta and drank some wine, and the world was sunshine-y again! Thank you <3
Great, quick & delucious recipe! I just added some browned chicken sausage for extra protein & it was delicious!. Deb’s proportions are always perfect!
Added a can of Romano beans for even more nutrition.
I make pretty much the same thing. I use dandelion greens when I can find them, otherwise broccoli rabe. And I melt a few anchovies in the olive oil before adding the garlic and red pepper flakes. Fast, easy, cheap and delicious.
We eat this almost every week. It’s delicious, fast and nutritious – checks all the boxes. I use two bags of the Organic Tuscan Kale from Trader Joe’s that’s already chopped, so the only chopping required is the garlic. Depending on the pasta cook time, this can be done from start to finish in less than 30 minutes. We try to eat vegan, so we leave out the cheese, and don’t miss a thing. My 8-year-old son does not tire of it either! Thank you, Deb – this is such a keeper.