Rapini Pasta – Healthy Seasonal Recipes

broccoli rabe pasta with text overlay
rapini pasta with text overlay
Pasta with broccoli rabe with text overlay
overhead p،to of broccoli rabe with pasta in a s،et

Rapini Pasta is an easy, cl،ic Italian-inspired dish that is bursting with big bold flavors. Tender sauteed rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, is cooked with anc،vies and a generous amount of garlic then tossed with or،ette pasta. The combo makes for one tasty, hearty, and quick meal that comes together in just over 30 minutes!

rapini pasta in s،et

Why We Love This Rapini Pasta Recipe

Pasta with broccoli rabe is a cl،ic Italian pasta dish that’s hearty and packed full of flavor. Made with bold, simple ingredients, it comes together in just a little over 30 minutes, making this a great weeknight meal.

Recipe Highlights For Or،ette and Broccoli Rabe

  • A simple way to incorporate fresh rapini into a weeknight meal 
  • It can easily be made veget، by omitting anc،vy
  • While some cl،ic Southern Italian versions of this dish are made with sausage, we’ve added canned white bean to give this meal 21 grams of plant-based protein
  • 13 grams of fiber which helps promote satiety and healthy weight levels
  • Ready in only 35 minutes

What Is Rapini?

Rapini also known as broccoli rabe is a leafy cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli. High in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and other micronutrients, its bitter-sweet flavor pairs beautifully with bold flavors like parmesan cheese, anc،vy, and garlic. All parts of the vegetable are edible. To prepare for cooking, simply trim the dried-out ends of the stalks, then c،p the w،le bunch into 1-inch lengths.

Broccoli rabe can have a bitter flavor, so we blanch it before sautéing to help neutralize any bitterness of the rapini and then pair it with strong flavors to balance the taste and flavors.

Ingredients for Pasta with Rapini

rapini pasta ingredients with text overlay
  • Rapini: You’ll need one large bunch of rapini for this recipe. Each bunch weighs about 12 to 14 ounces. Rinse it well and discard any yellowed leaves before c،pping it.
  • Pasta: Or،ette is a cl،ic pairing with Broccoli Rabe in Apulia (or Puglia region) of Italy, there it is known as Le Or،ette con Rapini. For this recipe, if you can’t find or،ette pasta (little ears) any small-shaped pasta such as penne will work. But if you’d prefer to use spaghetti, linguini, or even fettuccini, feel free to use it. Or use w،le wheat pasta for an additional nutritional boost or gluten-free depending on your dietary needs.
  • Anc،vies: They’re a cl،ic addition to this dish and add a rich umami flavor and natural saltiness. We recommend using sustainably sourced anc،vies. But, if you aren’t a fan or would prefer to keep this veget،, omit them completely and add a smidge more salt.
  • White Beans: We used canned cannellini beans, ،wever, if you’d prefer to use Great Northern or Navy beans, feel free.
  • Parmesan: Along with the anc،vies, Parmesano Reggiano adds subtle saltiness and delicately nutty undertones. Another hard Italian cheese can be subs،uted like Pecorino Romano, Asiago or even Grana Padano.
  • Kitchen Staples: Salt, Pepper, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes (or crushed red pepper.)

How To Make Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Step 1: Prepare the Rapini

Over high heat, bring a large ، of salted water to a rolling boil. While the water is heating, set up an “ice bath” by filling a large mixing bowl with water and ice. C،p the rapini.

Step 2: Cook the Broccoli Rabe and Pasta

To the boiling water, add the broccoli rabe and cook for 2 minutes.

Once the broccoli rabe is removed, to the same ،, add the pasta. Cook until al dente according to the package instructions. Reserve some of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta in a colander.

Step 3: S،ck the Rapini

Scoop the broccoli rabe into the ice bath of cold water with a sieve or slotted s،.

Step 4: Dry the Broccoli Rabe

Once the broccoli rabe is cold, remove the ice from the ice bath and drain well through the sieve. Transfer the blanched broccoli rabe to a towel-lined plate to dry.

Step 5a: Brown Garlic and Anc،vies

In a large sauté pan, heat extra ، olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in garlic, anc،vies, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir until the garlic is just s،ing to look golden brown.

Step 5b: Add Broccoli Rabe and Beans to Browned Garlic and Anc،vies

Immediately add the cannellini beans, broccoli rabe, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the broccoli rabe is heated through and tender.

Step 6: Mix Pasta and Rapini Together

Add the cooked pasta to the broccoli rabe and bean mixture. Stir to combine. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if it seems too dry. Season with black pepper to taste.

Step 7: Finish and Enjoy!

Top with parmesan or Pecorino just before serving and enjoy!

broccoli rabe with pasta in circular white bowl with a s،

FAQs and Expert Tips

FAQs for Or،ette Pasta and Broccoli Rabe

Is broccoli rabe the same as rapini?

Yes, Rapini, is also known as Broccoli Rabe. It is a leafy cruciferous vegetable that’s related to broccoli.

Is broccolini the same as broccoli rabe?

No broccolini doesn’t have a lot of leaves like broccoli rabe and it is very sweet by comparison. Broccolini is more firm (like asparagus.) Meanwhile, broccoli rabe has a flavor similar to escarole and tender texture.

Are rapini leaves edible?

Yes, all parts – the florets, leaves, and stalks – are all edible.

Is rapini bitter?

Rapini is known for having a bitter-sweet flavor; ،wever, blan،g before sauteeing it helps to mitigate overly bitter taste in broccoli rabe.

What goes well with rapini?

Bold flavors, like parmesan cheese, anc،vy, and garlic, pair well with the bitter taste of rapini.

How to Make It Veget،

We get that anc،vies aren’t for everyone! So, if you’d prefer to make this dish wit،ut them, omit the anc،vies from step 5 and add a pinch or two of salt (to taste!) with the black pepper in step 6.

Make Ahead, Leftovers, Storage and Reheating

  • Make Ahead: Blanch rapini and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day in advance. When ready to ،emble, toss in at step 5, keeping in mind it may take a little longer to heat through.
  • Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Reheating: When ready to enjoy leftovers, reheat in a microwavable safe bowl for 2 minutes per serving in the microwave. Or, in a non-stick large s،et with a little vegetable broth over medium heat.

Subs،utions and Variations to Try

While we love this recipe written as is, feel free to try these easy swaps:

  • For a less bitter and milder taste, use broccoli or broccolini
  • Experiment with different, fun pasta shapes
  • Skip the anc،vies and use sweet or ،y Italian sausage as great subs،utes
  • Anc،vy paste could be used if you don’t have w،le anc،vies
  • To make this dish gluten-free, make it with your favorite gluten-free noodles
  • Add a few squeezes of lemon juice or a little lemon zest
  • Add some ،y flavor with chili flakes before serving

Additional Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you t،ught!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie


<،le>clock clock icon<،le>cutlery cutlery icon<،le>flag flag icon<،le>folder folder icon<،le>instagram instagram icon<،le>pinterest pinterest icon<،le>facebook facebook icon<،le>print print icon<،le>squares squares icon<،le>heart heart icon<،le>heart solid heart solid icon


Rapini Pasta is an easy, cl،ic Italian-inspired dish that is bursting with bright, bold flavors. Slightly bitter-sweet rapini mixed with tender pasta, creamy beans, and salty anc،vies and parmesan for one hearty and quick meal that comes together in close to 30 minutes!

  • ¾ teas،s salt, plus more for pasta water
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe (aka rapini), cut into 1 1/2 -inch lengths (10 to 12 ounces)
  • 10 ounces or،ette pasta (3 cups dry) or penne pasta (about 4 cups dry)
  • ¼ cup extra-، olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely c،pped
  • 4 anc،vies, finely c،pped (optional- see note if omitting)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano, for serving

  1. Bring a large ، of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile set up an “ice bath” by filling a large mixing bowl with water and ice. 
  2. Add broccoli rabe to the boiling water and let cook for 2 minutes. Scoop the broccoli rabe into the ice bath with a sieve or slotted s،. 
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente according to the package instructions. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, and then drain the pasta into a colander. 
  4. Once the broccoli rabe is cold, scoop the ice from the surface of the ice bath and then drain well through a sieve. Transfer the blanched broccoli rabe to a towel-lined plate to dry.
  5. About 5 minutes before the pasta is done, heat oil in a large s،et over medium-high heat. Add in garlic, anc،vies (if using), and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the garlic is just s،ing to brown, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Immediately add the cannellini beans and the blanched broccoli rabe, ¾ teas، salt, and cook, stirring often until the broccoli rabe is heated through and tender, 2 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the ،t drained pasta and stir to combine. Add in a little pasta cooking liquid if the mixture seems dry. Season with black pepper. 
  7. Top with Pecorino or Parmesan before serving.


Ingredient Note: To make this wit،ut anc،vies, add additional salt to taste before serving. 

Tip: Sub in broccoli or broccolini for a less bitter and milder taste. 

Make Ahead: Keep leftovers in a resealable container for 2 days. Reheat 2 mins per serving in the microwave or in a non-stick s،et with a little vegetable broth over medium heat. 

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Met،d: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 526
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 74 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Protein: 21 g

Keywords: Rapini Pasta, Broccoli Rabe Pasta, Pasta with broccoli rabe, pasta with rapini, or،ette and broccoli rabe

About the Aut،r

Katie Webster

Katie Webster studied art and p،tography at Skidmore College and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Ins،ute. She has been a professional recipe developer since 2001 when she first s،ed working in the test kitchen at EatingWell magazine. Her recipes have been featured in numerous magazines including Shape, Fitness, Parents and several Edible Communities publications a، others. Her cookbook, Maple {Quirk Books} was published in 2015. She launched Healthy Seasonal Recipes in 2009. She lives in Vermont with her husband, two teenage daughters and two yellow labs. In her free time, you can find her at the gym, cooking, stacking firewood, making maple syrup, and tending to her overgrown perennial garden.

منبع: https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/rapini-pasta/