Legacy of Passion

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Olives

A delightful Sicilian dish that is perfect for a spring dinner on the porch to catch the enticing scents of the pasta and the blooms in bud.


1 bunch Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe
1/2 pound small curly Italian spinach pasta, such as gemelli or rotini
About a dozen oil cured black olives
1 to 3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Salt and pepper
Lemon wedges


  1. Set a large pot of water to boil. Cut a slice from broccoli rabe base and taste to determine toughness. If fairly tender, trim 1/2 inch from stalks, if tough trim more.
  2. Drop broccoli rabe into boiling water and add a handful of salt. Cook until tender. Remove with tongs from water and drain.
  3. Add pasta to the boiling water in which broccoli rabe cooked. While pasta cooks, slice or chop broccoli rabe. Pit and slice olives. Mince garlic.
  4. Add olives to pasta during the last few minutes of cooking. When pasta is just al dente, scoop out and reserve 1 cup water. Drain pasta in colander. Add 1 tablespoon oil and toss.
  5. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and chili flakes in the pasta pot over low heat. Cook until garlic softens and barely begins to color, stirring often. Add greens and half the reserved pasta water. Raise heat and simmer, partly covered until greens absorb flavors and soften, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add pasta and remaining water. Boil gently, stirring often, until most liquid evaporates – just a few minutes. Season and serve with lemon wedges.