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.
Cook orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but firm, 7–12 minutes.
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.
Drain pasta, add to broccoli rabe, and toss to mix well. Remove from heat, transfer to a platter, and serve with grated pecorino romano.