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Cacio e Pepe with Broccoli Rabe


An accessible recipe that only needs a few ingredients, Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman sauce with pecorino-romano and black pepper. Broccoli rabe adds a good vegetal flavor and brightens the whole dish up. Broccoli rabe is cooked with the pasta, and then added to the sauce for a simple meal that doesn’t make any sacrifices on flavor.

Recipe by Jenn Louis

Jenn Louis is the executive chef and co-owner of Portland restaurants, Lincoln and the Sunshine Tavern. Her first cookbook, Pasta By Hand, is going into its third printing, and she is currently at work on her second, The Guide to Greens, which is due out in 2017. Among other honors, Jenn was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” in 2012.

Serves: 6
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 lb dried spaghetti
  • 4 oz ground pecorino-romano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp roughly ground black pepper



1. Trim long bottom stems of broccoli rabe, about 4 inches, and discard. Roughly chop remaining leaves and thinner stems into 1/2” ribbons or strips. About 10 oz should remain. Set aside.

2. In a large pot of salted boiling water cook pasta until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and cook until pasta is tender to your likeness, about 4 additional minutes.

3. Using a fine mesh sieve or colander, drain pasta and broccoli rabe, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.  

4. Place pasta and broccoli rabe back into pot and stir over very low heat adding cheese, pepper and enough pasta water that the cheese becomes a soft sauce, about 2 minutes.

5. Divide pasta amongst plates and garnish with additional cheese.

Cacio e Pepe with Broccoli Rabe

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