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Rapini Pasta is a simple, basic Italian-inspired dish that’s bursting with large daring flavors. Tender sauteed rapini, also called broccoli rabe, is cooked with anchovies and a beneficiant quantity of garlic then tossed with orecchiette pasta. The combo makes for one tasty, hearty, and fast meal that comes collectively in simply over half-hour!

rapini pasta in skillet

Why We Love This Rapini Pasta Recipe

Pasta with broccoli rabe is a basic Italian pasta dish that’s hearty and packed stuffed with taste. Made with daring, easy substances, it comes collectively in just a bit over half-hour, making this an awesome weeknight meal.

Recipe Highlights For Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe

  • A easy approach to incorporate contemporary rapini right into a weeknight meal 
  • It may well simply be made vegetarian by omitting anchovy
  • Whereas some basic Southern Italian variations of this dish are made with sausage, we’ve added canned white bean to provide this meal 21 grams of plant-based protein
  • 13 grams of fiber which helps promote satiety and wholesome weight ranges
  • Prepared in solely 35 minutes

What Is Rapini?

Rapini also called broccoli rabe is a leafy cruciferous vegetable associated to broccoli. Excessive in nutritional vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and different micronutrients, its bitter-sweet taste pairs fantastically with daring flavors like parmesan cheese, anchovy, and garlic. All elements of the vegetable are edible. To arrange for cooking, merely trim the dried-out ends of the stalks, then chop the entire bunch into 1-inch lengths.

Broccoli rabe can have a bitter taste, so we blanch it earlier than sautéing to assist neutralize any bitterness of the rapini after which pair it with sturdy flavors to stability the style and flavors.

Components for Pasta with Rapini

rapini pasta ingredients with text overlay
  • Rapini: You’ll want one massive bunch of rapini for this recipe. Every bunch weighs about 12 to 14 ounces. Rinse it nicely and discard any yellowed leaves earlier than chopping it.
  • Pasta: Orecchiette is a basic pairing with Broccoli Rabe in Apulia (or Puglia area) of Italy, there it is called Le Orecchiette con Rapini. For this recipe, in the event you can’t discover orecchiette pasta (little ears) any small-shaped pasta corresponding to penne will work. However in the event you’d want to make use of spaghetti, linguini, and even fettuccini, be at liberty to make use of it. Or use entire wheat pasta for an extra dietary increase or gluten-free relying in your dietary wants.
  • Anchovies: They’re a basic addition to this dish and add a wealthy umami taste and pure saltiness. We suggest utilizing sustainably sourced anchovies. However, in the event you aren’t a fan or would like to maintain this vegetarian, omit them utterly and add a smidge extra salt.
  • White Beans: We used canned cannellini beans, nevertheless, in the event you’d want to make use of Nice Northern or Navy beans, be at liberty.
  • Parmesan: Together with the anchovies, Parmesano Reggiano provides refined saltiness and delicately nutty undertones. One other onerous Italian cheese may be substituted like Pecorino Romano, Asiago and even Grana Padano.
  • Kitchen Staples: Salt, Pepper, Further-Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, and Pink Pepper Flakes (or crushed purple pepper.)

How To Make Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Step 1: Put together the Rapini

Over excessive warmth, convey a big pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Whereas the water is heating, arrange an “ice tub” by filling a big mixing bowl with water and ice. Chop the rapini.

Step 2: Cook dinner the Broccoli Rabe and Pasta

To the boiling water, add the broccoli rabe and prepare dinner for two minutes.

As soon as the broccoli rabe is eliminated, to the identical pot, add the pasta. Cook dinner till al dente in accordance with the package deal directions. Reserve a number of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta in a colander.

Step 3: Shock the Rapini

Scoop the broccoli rabe into the ice tub of chilly water with a sieve or slotted spoon.

Step 4: Dry the Broccoli Rabe

As soon as the broccoli rabe is chilly, take away the ice from the ice tub and drain nicely via the sieve. Switch the blanched broccoli rabe to a towel-lined plate to dry.

Step 5a: Brown Garlic and Anchovies

In a big sauté pan, warmth further virgin olive oil over medium-high warmth. Add in garlic, anchovies, and purple pepper flakes. Cook dinner and stir till the garlic is simply beginning to look golden brown.

Step 5b: Add Broccoli Rabe and Beans to Browned Garlic and Anchovies

Instantly add the cannellini beans, broccoli rabe, and salt. Cook dinner, stirring typically, till the broccoli rabe is heated via and tender.

Step 6: Combine Pasta and Rapini Collectively

Add the cooked pasta to the broccoli rabe and bean combination. Stir to mix. Add slightly of the pasta cooking water if it appears too dry. Season with black pepper to style.

Step 7: End and Take pleasure in!

Prime with parmesan or Pecorino simply earlier than serving and revel in!

broccoli rabe with pasta in circular white bowl with a spoon

FAQs and Skilled Ideas

FAQs for Orecchiette Pasta and Broccoli Rabe

Is broccoli rabe the identical as rapini?

Sure, Rapini, is also called Broccoli Rabe. It’s a leafy cruciferous vegetable that’s associated to broccoli.

Is broccolini the identical as broccoli rabe?

No broccolini doesn’t have numerous leaves like broccoli rabe and it is vitally candy by comparability. Broccolini is extra agency (like asparagus.) In the meantime, broccoli rabe has a taste much like escarole and tender texture.

Are rapini leaves edible?

Sure, all elements – the florets, leaves, and stalks – are all edible.

Is rapini bitter?

Rapini is understood for having a bitter-sweet taste; nevertheless, blanching earlier than sauteeing it helps to mitigate overly bitter style in broccoli rabe.

What goes nicely with rapini?

Daring flavors, like parmesan cheese, anchovy, and garlic, pair nicely with the bitter style of rapini.

How you can Make It Vegetarian

We get that anchovies aren’t for everybody! So, in the event you’d want to make this dish with out them, omit the anchovies from step 5 and add a pinch or two of salt (to style!) with the black pepper in step 6.

Make Forward, Leftovers, Storage and Reheating

  • Make Forward: Blanch rapini and retailer in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 1 day prematurely. When able to assemble, toss in at step 5, protecting in thoughts it could take slightly longer to warmth via.
  • Leftovers: Retailer any leftovers in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 2 days.
  • Reheating: When able to take pleasure in leftovers, reheat in a microwavable secure bowl for two minutes per serving within the microwave. Or, in a non-stick massive skillet with slightly vegetable broth over medium warmth.

Substitutions and Variations to Attempt

Whereas we love this recipe written as is, be at liberty to strive these simple swaps:

  • For a much less bitter and milder style, use broccoli or broccolini
  • Experiment with totally different, enjoyable pasta shapes
  • Skip the anchovies and use candy or spicy Italian sausage as nice substitutes
  • Anchovy paste may very well be used in the event you don’t have entire anchovies
  • To make this dish gluten-free, make it along with your favourite gluten-free noodles
  • Add just a few squeezes of lemon juice or slightly lemon zest
  • Add some spicy taste with chili flakes earlier than serving

Extra Recipes To Attempt

Thanks a lot for studying! If you’re new right here, it’s your decision to enroll in my e-mail publication to get a free weekly menu plan and the newest recipes proper to your inbox. When you make this recipe, please come again and go away a star ranking and overview. I might love to listen to what you thought!

Joyful Cooking! ~Katie


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Rapini Pasta is a simple, basic Italian-inspired dish that’s bursting with vibrant, daring flavors. Barely bitter-sweet rapini combined with tender pasta, creamy beans, and salty anchovies and parmesan for one hearty and fast meal that comes collectively in near half-hour!

  • ¾ teaspoons salt, plus extra for pasta water
  • 1 massive bunch of broccoli rabe (aka rapini), lower into 1 1/2 -inch lengths (10 to 12 ounces)
  • 10 ounces orecchiette pasta (3 cups dry) or penne pasta (about 4 cups dry)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 anchovies, finely chopped (optional- see observe if omitting)
  • Pinch purple pepper flakes
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Freshly floor black pepper to style
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano, for serving

  1. Convey a big pot of water to a boil over excessive warmth. In the meantime arrange an “ice tub” by filling a big mixing bowl with water and ice. 
  2. Add broccoli rabe to the boiling water and let prepare dinner for two minutes. Scoop the broccoli rabe into the ice tub with a sieve or slotted spoon. 
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and prepare dinner till al dente in accordance with the package deal directions. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, after which drain the pasta right into a colander. 
  4. As soon as the broccoli rabe is chilly, scoop the ice from the floor of the ice tub after which drain nicely via a sieve. Switch the blanched broccoli rabe to a towel-lined plate to dry.
  5. About 5 minutes earlier than the pasta is finished, warmth oil in a big skillet over medium-high warmth. Add in garlic, anchovies (if utilizing), and pepper flakes. Cook dinner, stirring till the garlic is simply beginning to brown, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Instantly add the cannellini beans and the blanched broccoli rabe, ¾ teaspoon salt, and prepare dinner, stirring typically till the broccoli rabe is heated via and tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the recent drained pasta and stir to mix. Add in slightly pasta cooking liquid if the combination appears dry. Season with black pepper. 
  7. Prime with Pecorino or Parmesan earlier than serving.


Ingredient Notice: To make this with out anchovies, add extra salt to style earlier than serving. 

Tip: Sub in broccoli or broccolini for a much less bitter and milder style. 

Make Forward: Preserve leftovers in a resealable container for two days. Reheat 2 minutes per serving within the microwave or in a non-stick skillet with slightly vegetable broth over medium warmth. 

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook dinner Time: 10 minutes
  • Class: Most important Course
  • Technique: Range Prime
  • Delicacies: Italian


  • Energy: 526
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fats: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 74 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Protein: 21 g

Key phrases: Rapini Pasta, Broccoli Rabe Pasta, Pasta with broccoli rabe, pasta with rapini, orecchiette and broccoli rabe

In regards to the Creator

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied artwork and pictures at Skidmore Faculty and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute. She has been knowledgeable recipe developer since 2001 when she first began working within the check kitchen at EatingWell journal. Her recipes have been featured in quite a few magazines together with Form, Health, Dad and mom and several other Edible Communities publications amongst others. Her cookbook, Maple {Quirk Books} was revealed in 2015. She launched Wholesome Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont together with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you’ll find her on the health club, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial backyard.



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