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Broccoli Rabe with Orecchietti: A Classic Pasta Dish that Leans Healthy and Hearty

Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian


  • 2 pounds of broccoli rabe
  • olive oil enough to cover bottom of pan and more for adding in later
  • 3-4 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup pecorino cheese grated and more for serving at table
  • 1 pound pasta
  • salt and pepper


  • Rinse and trim stems up to leafy area. Discard bottom inch of stem.
  • You can maintain stems, by cutting them in 2 inch pieces and cooking a little earlier. I usually don’t keep stems.
  • Submerge in large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Place in ice bath to keep green color, while preparing next step.
  • Boil pasta according to directions holding back the last three minutes.
  • Slice saute garlic in olive oil in large frying pan (large enough to hold pasta.
  • Add in pepper flakes and lemon juice. Add in Broccoli.
  • Toss pasta into pan. Add more olive oil as necessary.
  • Toss with pecorino cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve immediately with more cheese and red pepper flakes at the table.