• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Broccoli Rabe Pasta


Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Lemony Breadcrumbs

By Andrew Zimmern

This is one of my favorite ways to cook and eat broccoli rabe—charred on the grill and served with a simple pasta seasoned with garlic and olive oil. The lemon-and-garlic-infused breadcrumbs add a brilliantly crunchy contrast to the dish that you’ll love.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Lemony Breadcrumbs

Servings: 4



  • 1/4 pound day-old Italian bread, torn into chunks
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, stem tips trimmed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 pound chitarra or spaghetti
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving


Make the Breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a food processor, pulse the bread with the parsley, olive oil, zest and garlic until coarse crumbs form. Season with salt and pepper, then spread on a large-rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until golden and crisp; let cool.

Make the Pasta

Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli rabe with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until crisp tender and lightly charred all over, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

In a pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, the broccoli rabe and cooked pasta. Toss and cook until the pasta and broccoli rabe are heated through. Turn off the heat and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon zest. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Serve right away, passing additional bread crumbs at the table.

MAKE AHEAD The bread crumbs can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Toast in a 325° oven for 5 minutes before using.

Foolproof Macaroni & Cheese
Shrimp Capellini with Spicy Breadcrumbs
Classic Linguine with Clam Sauce

Like this recipe? You may also enjoy:

Recipe Finder

Related Recipes


Main Ingredients

Back to Recipes Page