If you'd like the perfect light meal for dinner, try my Pasta Aglio Olio with Broccoli Rabe. It also makes a great side dish!
Enjoy Pasta Aglio Olio with Broccoli Rabe!
We do love our pasta dishes but there are days that you’re just not in the mood for red sauce. Lisa loves my aioli sauce but to me, just plain pasta aioli isn’t very exciting. And that’s how I came up with this version containing broccoli rabe.
One of my favorite ingredients to add to my Pasta Aioli is Broccoli Rabe and of course, it never hurts to find an interesting pasta shape to change things up a bit too. For this dish, I turned to one of my favorites, Riccioli from Wegmans Italian Artisan line of pasta. In Italian Riccioli translates to “little curls” which is a unique type of Fusilli that is traditionally made with a spindle-shaped tool called a “ferretto”. This type of pasta most commonly comes from Southern Italy and is great for holding sauce, which made it a good choice for aioli.
Feel free to use anyt ype of pasta you have on hand. Shapes or spaghetti will all work well.
In the Philadelphia Region when you ask for an Aioli sauce with your pasta don’t expect a mayonnaise style garlic sauce, as in a provincial French sauce, because what you’ll get is a light sauce made of chopped garlic, lightly sauteed in an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, with a few crushed red pepper flakes, Italian parsley and a sprinkle of sea salt.
That sauce would be referred to as Aglio Olio in Italy, but more than likely it was just a little too much to pronounce in the Philadelphia kitchens and got shortened to Aioli. You won’t find any egg yolks in it, no anchovies, and never any grated cheese……although grated Romano will usually be added after it’s served unless of course, you’re a purist who says never mix olive oil with cheese. I, of course, will add cheese to just about anything, and believe me when I tell you, you’re going to love it with this pasta dish!
Whether you serve this as a main course or a side dish, it will be a welcome addition to your table. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a salad and you’ve got a meal you’ll not soon forget…..just don’t forget the grated cheese!
If you don’t have broccoli rabe on hand use any of your favorite vegetables or a combination of your favorite vegetables.
You can also add:
- chicken (add any leftover chicken meat you may have on hand or use boneless breast or thigh meat)
- seafood (shrimp, salmon pieces or any other type of seafood you like)
- pesto (any type of pesto would make a great addition)
If you love pasta dishes you might also like these:
Pasta Aglio Olio (aka Aioli) with Broccoli Rabe
- 1 lb riccoili or your favorite pasta
- 1 large head broccoli rabe
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Italian parsley – finely chopped
- sea salt to taste
- 4 tablespoons grated romano cheese or more depending upon your taste
- Wash and clean broccoli rabe, removing most of the stem
- In a large saute pan place broccoli rabe in the pan with about a cup of water over high heat, as the water begins to boil reduce to simmer and allow water to cook off.
- This process should take 10 – 15 minutes or until broccoli rabe is fairly tender, then remove from heat (if all the water cooks off and broccoli rabe is still not tender add additional water and continue cooking)
- In another saute pan add 3 tablespoons of olive oil , add chopped garlic and saute over low heat until garlic just begins to brown.
- Add pinch of red pepper flakes and broccoli rabe and toss in oil and set aside.
- Cook pasta per instructions on box,
- When pasta is almost cooked, return broccoli rabe and sauce to burner and heat over medium heat.
- Season with sea salt to taste
- Add additional olive oil if sauce appears to dry. (you may also add a little of the pasta water if you don’t care to use anymore oil)
- Toss pasta with broccoli rabe sauce
- Place pasta into serving bowls and top with grated romano cheese and and a sprinkle of chopped Italian parsely.
- If you would like a little extra heat, add a few more red pepper flakes.
- Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!