Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

  • Serves

    serves 6


At Rao's, Italian sausage is usually added to this pasta—but since author McNamee already had penne with cabbage and sausage on the table, the kitchen served him this simpler version.


  • 2 lb. broccoli rabe, stems removed
  • 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
  • 34 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated pecorino romano


Step 1

Place broccoli rabe in a deep saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. When bubbles appear, remove from heat. Drain; plunge broccoli rabe into ice water, drain again, pat dry, and set aside.

Step 2

Cook orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm, 7–12 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and sauté garlic until fragrant and just golden, about 3 minutes. Add broccoli rabe, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until pasta is ready.

Step 4

Drain pasta, add to broccoli rabe, and toss to mix well. Remove from heat, transfer to a platter, and serve with grated pecorino romano.

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