Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Chickpeas


Mild but ever so comforting, chickpeas taste great with pungent broccoli rabe in this dish starring orecchiette (||little ears||), tiny disc-shaped pasta. Conservative palates may prefer this recipe with the lesser amount of broccoli rabe, but if you are a fan, go ahead and use the full pound.

  • 4Servings


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 15- to 19-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 12 oz. dried orecchiette pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz.; optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. broccoli rabe, well rinsed


Bring large pot and large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, trim about 1 inch from broccoli rabe stems. Cut stalks and leaves into 1-inch pieces. Drop broccoli rabe into saucepan of boiling water. As soon as water returns to a boil, drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well and set aside.

In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until garlic is softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add reserved blanched broccoli rabe, chickpeas and salt; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Re-duce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broccoli rabe is tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer until sauce has thickened and flavors have blended, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with pepper.

Shortly before sauce is ready, add orecchiette to pot of boiling water; stir to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring often, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and place in large warm serving bowl. Add broccoli rabe mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan if desired.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 441
  • Carbohydrate Content: 75 g
  • Fat Content: 6 g
  • Fiber Content: 8 g
  • Protein Content: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 697 mg