Pappardelle with Broccoli Rabe and Pancetta

Pappardelle with Broccoli Rabe and Pancetta

Makes 4 servings.


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
1 medium onion, chopped
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 large bunch broccoli rabe (also called rapini; generous 1 pound),
1 cup water
One 8.8-ounce package dried Pappardelle pasta
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted


Take the broccoli rabe and slice the stems 1/2 inch thick and cut the tops into 2-inch pieces.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add garlic and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes.

Discard garlic.

Add onion, pancetta, and fennel seeds to skillet; saute until onion is tender and pancetta begins to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add dried crushed red pepper, then broccoli rabe stems and cook 4 minutes to soften slightly, stirring occasionally.

Stir in broccoli rabe tops, sprinkle with salt, and add 1 cup water.

Cover and cook until stems and tops are tender, about 5 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until ‘al dente’.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Add pasta to skillet with broccoli rabe and stir over low heat to combine, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary.

Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 cup cheese.

Season to taste with salt and generous amount of pepper.

Transfer to shallow bowl.

Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve, passing additional cheese separately. Makes 4 servings.

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