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  • 1 pound cavatelli or orecchiette pasta (a small pasta shape to capture the sauce)
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe (sometimes called rapini), heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Add broccoli rabe 5 minutes before the end of cooking time. Stir well. Drain, reserving a cup of pasta water.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in the same pan. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and sauté until garlic becomes golden.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in pasta mixture. Toss until the pasta and rabe are coated with oil.  Add reserved pasta water, a little at a time, to help loosen and coat the mixture. Sprinkle cheese over the top and toss.

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The recipe was originally published as Broccoli Rabe Pasta on

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