Overhead picture of a the pan used to cook the broccoli rabe and Orecchiette pasta

Italian Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette Pasta Recipe

This Italian Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette Pasta Recipe is another example of how simple ingredients come together perfectly to create a great pasta dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword broccoli rabe pasta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 513kcal
Author Maria Vannelli RD


  • 2 pounds broccoli rabe approximately 2 bunches, trimmed and washed
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta dried
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves sliced
  • 4 anchovy fillets chopped
  • pinch red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated cheese to garnish top


  • Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. 
  • Add the broccoli rabe and cook until tender. This should take 4-5 minutes.
  • Drain broccoli rabe in a sieve. Gently squeeze out excess moisture. Coarsely chop and set aside.
  • Bring large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Please note that you can use the same water to cook your pasta. My personnel preference is to start with a fresh pot of water.
  • Add the pasta and stir. Cook pasta according to package directions or until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat.
  • Add the garlic and anchovy fillets.
  • Mash the anchovy with the back of a spoon for about 1-2 minutes.
  • If using, add red pepper flakes and stir for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Add the cooked broccoli rabe and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings and heat through. Set aside and keep warm.
  • When pasta is done, drain, reserving 2-3 ladles of the pasta water.
  • Return pasta to the pot; add the broccoli rabe mixture and some pasta water to adjust the consistency. 
  • Add the cheeses and toss together.
  • Plate pasta and garnish with more grated cheese.
  • Serve immediately.


Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 174mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 4015IU | Vitamin C: 31.5mg | Calcium: 282mg | Iron: 4.5mg