Legacy of Passion

Broccoli Rabe and Shiitake Penne Pasta

Shiitake Penne Pasta

Broccoli rabe is complemented by the umami flavors of the shiitake mushrooms, and walnuts add an unexpected crunch as well as some healthy fats. With the added kick of mustard and vinegar, this pasta hits the entire palette, but is still simple enough to put together for an easy weeknight meal.

Recipe by Jeanine Donofrio

Jeanine runs Love & Lemons, a veggie-centric food blog, with the help of her husband, Jack. The winner in the Most Inspired Weeknight Dinners category at the 2016 Saveur awards, as well as the Reader’s Choice for Best Food Blog in 2014, their first cookbook, The Love & Lemons Cookbook, is available now.

Serves: 4
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1” pieces
  • 8 oz brown rice penne pasta
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 2 shallots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups mixed mushrooms, de-stemmed and chopped (mix of cremini & shiitakes), about 8 oz
  • 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or heavy cream (almond milk, if vegan)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • a big squeeze of lemon
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese, divided (optional, skip if vegan)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, toasted (optional, skip if gluten free)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Shiitake Penne Pasta Ingredients

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Boil the broccoli rabe for about one minute, until it becomes bright green and is slightly tender but still has some bite.

2. Scoop it out of the boiling water and into the ice water. Let cool for about one minute then drain, shaking out excess water. Set aside.

3. Cook the pasta according to pkg directions, until al dente.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until almost translucent, 2-3 minutes.

Shiitake Penne Pasta Process

5. Add the garlic, mushrooms and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms cook down.

6. Add the Balsamic vinegar and stir, getting any bits of mushrooms that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan.

7. Add the almond milk and dijon mustard and stir to combine. Add the broccoli rabe and stir again.

8. Add a big squeeze of lemon, stir, then add the cooked penne pasta, red pepper flakes, and half of the parmesan cheese, if using. Stir to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Shiitake Penne Pasta Process

9. Top with the walnuts, remaining parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, if using, and serve.

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Penne Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Mushrooms