Pasta with Broccoli Rabe Recipe

Serves 4 to 6:

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • anchovy fillets, minced
  • medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus more for garnishing
  • Two 15 1/2-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini, but any kind of white bean is fine)
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable stock (homemade or low-sodium)
  • splash heavy cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • pound orecchiette, penne, or other short, tubular pasta
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe, washed well, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh ricotta, for garnishing (optional)
  • Grated Pecorino Romano, for garnishing


  1. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, heat the oil, anchovy, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stirring until anchovy dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add beans, stock, and cream (if using). Simmer to thicken, 4 to 5 minutes, smashing the beans gently with a wooden spoon so that some of the beans remain whole but about half become mushy. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cover to keep warm.
  3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta. Cook until pasta just begins to soften, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Add greens; cook until greens are wilted fully and pasta is al dente, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
  5. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta and greens and return to pot. Add sauce and reserved pasta water and cook over medium-low heat, stirring to meld flavors, about 1 minute.
  6. Taste for salt and pepper. Squeeze half a lemon over the pot and mix to combine. Mix in several dollops of fresh ricotta (if using). Serve immediately, topping with grated cheese and more red pepper flakes at the table.