Recipes / Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Ricotta

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Ricotta

By The Editors

Published February 15, 2024

Stir a cup of ricotta cheese into hot pasta, add a splash of cooking water, and you’ve got a rich and creamy sauce that took you 30 seconds to make. Pleasantly bitter broccoli rabe is the perfect vegetable to cut through the richness of the cheese. But you could also use kale, radicchio, or even cabbage. And if you use whole wheat pasta here, all the better nutritionally and flavor-wise.

Photo: Daniel Meyer
Photo: Daniel Meyer
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Make The Recipe!

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Ricotta

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Makes 4 servings 1x

Time about 30 minutes

Units Scale


  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe
  • Pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 pound cut pasta (like elbows, penne, or ziti)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (about half a 15-ounce container)


Cook | Prep

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over low heat.

Trim and chop the broccoli rabe, separating any thick stems.

Raise the heat under the skillet to medium-high. Add any thick stems to the skillet and cook until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the leaves, a handful at a time if necessary to fit them in, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Peel and chop 2 cloves garlic; add them to the skillet along with 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes.

When the water boils, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally. Start tasting after 5 minutes. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain it, reserving about 1 cup cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the broccoli rabe, 1 cup ricotta, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a splash of cooking water to make it saucy. Toss, taste, and adjust the seasoning, then serve.

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything Fast Completely Revised Edition