Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

One of my favorite 'comfort food' pasta is Orecchiette, with (Rappini)=Broccoli Rabe. Most recipes call for ground sausage added to it, and/or pancetta; but my favorite addition for color, and flavor is sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, and slivered. Not chopped, but slivered, to actually be able to bite into the bitter-sweet-savory soft tomato that goes so well with the sautéed broccoli rabe.
The health benefits of Broccoli Rabe, are endless!
 Health Benefits of Rapini (Broccoli Rabe):

  • Increased Protection from Bacterial and Viral Infections
  • Increased Immune Function
  • Reduced Cancer Risk
  • Reduced Risk of Colon Cancer
  • Protection Against Heart Disease
  • Regulation of Blood Sugar and Insulin Dependence
  • Slowing the progression of AIDS
  • Slowing Aging
  • DNA Repair and Protection
  • Protection Against Dementia
  • Alleviation of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Alleviation of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Promoted Eye Health
  • Alzheimer's Protection
  • Osteoporosis Protection
  • Stroke Prevention
  • Reduced Risk of Type II Diabetes
  • Reduced Frequency of Migraine Headaches
  • Alleviation of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Antioxidant Protection
  • Prevention of Epileptic Seizures
  • Alleviation of the Common Cold
  • Prevention of Alopecia (Spot Baldness)
  • Alleviation of Inflammation
Rapini (Broccoli Rabe)...despite having the similar looking broccoli floret, is actually the descendant of the turnip and thought to have originated in China, or the Mediterranean. The Broccoli Rabe is bitter, with a sharp taste. It is often prepared steamed, with lemon, or garlic.
Read more:

Here are a few recipe sources: Although I have my own, which is quite similar!
Whole Foods Market...Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Sun-dried tomatoes and White Beans
Lidia's Italy...Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Rabe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Orecchiette

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Elisabeth's version of this recipe

1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe...abt. 1 to 2lbs

wash thoroughly in cold water, cut hard ends off, and cut the entire bunch in three sections.

In small amount of water, with/or without a steam basket, steam with lid on, until it starts to get wilted. strain in colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking process.

about 1/2 cup or more sun-dried tomatoes that is in olive oil. Slice each tomato in about 3 pieces, lengthwise and set aside.

not shown in photo: cut 3 cloves of garlic in half, and sauté in 3 Tblsp. of extra virgin olive oil until golden brown. Discard garlic. Saute about 1 Tblsp. of red chilli flakes, and leave it in oil.

Cook orecchiette pasta in rapidly boiling water, till al-dente. Save 1 cup of the cooking water...very important!

Saute the strained broccoli rabe in the garlic infused olive oil. Add the sun-dried tomatoes,
the strained pasta, add more olive oil to your liking, salt and pepper.

Give it a good stir to incorporate all the ingredients, add the reserved cooking water, a about 1/4 at a can use the entire amount if you like it more saucy; add grated Parmigiano-Reggiana cheese, and serve.
You can add extra cheese when serving, along with additional freshly ground black pepper.
Buon Appetitio! Ciao:)


  1. such a beautiful healthy dish, a winner winner!!!!

  2. Easy, healty and yet tasty pasta salad....
    The best recipe for starting a day!

  3. SO healthy and flavorful! Love this dish!!

  4. One of the best kinds of pasta dishes this, so simple and fresh (and such pretty photos). I couldn't live without my pasta!

  5. I hardly see broccoli rabe here, might have to replace it with kale as they are in season now. The pasta looks comforting and flavourful.

  6. This is called simple but yummy recipe Love these to have for my dinner. Very nice.

  7. Elisabeth,
    Your dish is gorgeous, and who new that it was so healthy as well. I like the new look on your blog.

  8. Hi Elisabeth, this is such a delightful yummy dish! Very healthy and nutritious too! Would love to give this a try. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day ahead :)

  9. This looks delicious! And healthy, how can you go wrong with this? Yum!

  10. Ez nagyon finom lehet. Egyszer belefogtam ilyen tésztát készíteni, elég macerásan ment és nagyon lassan. Azóta vettem inkább. Nagyon guszta! Vinném ebédre...

  11. This looks utterly delicious! I also love how healthy it is…my kind of meal! Have a wonderful weekend, Elizabeth! I’m sure your weather is much nicer and warmer than ours! Enjoy!

  12. What a beautiful photo, Elisabeth! It feels so joyful and summery! I hope it reflects your mood ;-) The pasta sounds delicious. I really should buy rapini one day! They are sold here everywhere and called "cime di rapa".

  13. Gyönyörűek a fotók és ez annyira kívánatos tészta étel:) Egyszerű és mégis mennyei, egészséges, a gyerekeim imádják a brokkolit, mi más kell még, ideális hétvégére, legalább pihenni is tudok. Gyönyörű hétvégét kívánok Neked:)

  14. This looks wonderful Elisabeth. Such beautiful tricolore pasta dish. And it's healthy too... so what is not to like? :) Have a great weekend!

  15. i've never heard of broccoli rabe and looking at you rpasta pics, they are very tasty i'm sure! have a good sunday!

  16. Drága Elisabeth, nagyon finomat főztél! :) Annyira guszta, most rögtön meg tudnék egy jó nagy tányérral! :)

  17. Elisabeth, this pasta dish looks very good! I am not familiar with the ingredients. I am not sure if Broccolli rabe is available here and I must really try sun dried tomatoes as I have seen them sold at the supermarket. Even the pasta is new to me!

  18. Elisabeth, broccoli rabe is new to me, I never even heard of it before. Your pasta dish looks scrumptious. It is interesting, this is the only way I can eat kale.

  19. Hi Elisabeth, what a colorful and flavorful recipe this is!!! I do love broccoli-rabe, I had no idea though of all its benefits!!! I kinda liked the slowing of aging most of

  20. Elisabeth, this looks super delicious and healthy. I love the colors of this dish.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  21. Such a beautiful and colorful dish Elisabeth...I love everything in it...
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving my dear :D

  22. Hi my dear Elisabeth, your pasta dish look extremely good, very healthy version. You're an excellent chef! Love the combination.

    With lots of love and hugs to you.. Warm regards.

  23. Fantasztikus a koloritja!!!! Étvágygerjesztő, nem is gondoltam, hogy ennyire egészséges!!!