If you love the slightly bitter, slightly sweet taste of broccoli rabe, you’ll love Laura Theodore’s easy, tasty penne with broccoli rabe recipe. Here, it’s combined with chickpeas and garlic to make a simple dish that will wake up your taste buds.
What to serve with Penne with Broccoli Rabe: Crusty bread is an ideal accompaniment to this pasta dish, along with a simple salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, and your favorite seasonal salad veggies.
Make it without oil: To decrease the fat content in this recipe, use 3 tablespoons of vegetable broth in place of the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Broth will evaporate quickly during cooking, so add more broth as needed.
Swap-ins for broccoli rabe: Broccolini or regular broccoli can be used instead of broccoli rabe.
What is broccoli rabe?
Popular in Mediterranean cuisine, broccoli rabe, a leafy vegetable, is known by many names including rapini and Italian broccoli, and is alternatively spelled raab.
Despite having “broccoli” in its name, it isn’t a cruciferous cousin of regular broccoli, but rather, a relative of turnips and mustard greens. Broccoli rabe isn’t generally eaten raw and is best showcased in simple recipes like this one.
These greens grow in leafy clusters that present with narrow stems, abundant leaves, and tiny, broccoli-like dark green florets. All parts of the broccoli rabe are edible, and usually, you need only trim away about 1/4 from the bottom of the stalks.
Recipe is from Chef Laura Theodore’s Jazzy Vegetarian: Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious, 10th Anniversary edition © 2011/2022. Learn more about this book following the recipe box.
Laura Theodore is a recognized public television personality, 3-time TASTE award winning vegan chef, cookbook author, podcast radio host, and award-winning recording artist.
Tune in for the latest season of Laura’s vegan television show, Jazzy Vegetarian, airing nationally on the Create Network (check local listings) and listen to The Laura Theodore Podcast on Apple Podcasts. Visit Laura on the web at Jazzy Vegetarian.
See a super-easy way to make a Parmesan-style topping in the Notes section of the recipe box. You can also use a Parmesan-style plant-based cheese that can be grated, or as shown in this photo, Violife vegan Just Like Parmesan. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
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- Easy Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Pine Nuts
- Skillet Broccoli Rabe with White Beans & Mushrooms
- 1 pound penne pasta (preferably whole-grain, or your favorite variety)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed (see note for oil-free)
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, ends trimmed and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- Vegan Parmesan cheese (optional; packaged or homemade; see easy recipe in Notes)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the penne. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli rabe, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli rabe is slightly tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garbanzo beans. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli rabe is tender and the garbanzos are heated through, about 10 minutes, adding small amounts of water as needed to prevent sticking.
- Drain the penne, then add it to the skillet. Toss gently until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle optional vegan Parmesan cheese over the top, and serve.
Variation: Substitute a 15-ounce can of white beans for the garbanzos.
Make it oil-free: To decrease the fat content in this recipe, use 3 tablespoons of vegetable broth in place of the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Broth will evaporate quickly during cooking, so add more broth as needed.
Easiest homemade vegan Parmesan (from The Vegan Atlas): Combine a more or less equal amount of nutritional yeast and almond flour in a small container. I usually go with 1/2 cup of each. For that amount, I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt; add your salt to taste. Mix it up well. Cover and refrigerate any unused portion, where it will keep well almost indefinitely (but there’s no way you’ll make it last that long!).
More about Jazzy Vegetarian 10th Anniversary edition
Embrace healthful eating . . . one mouthwatering vegan recipe at a time! Viewers of the award-winning public television series, “Jazzy Vegetarian,” will now be able to cook their favorite plant-based dishes from the show with this exciting, new, revised and updated edition of Chef Laura Theodore’s most popular cookbook, “JAZZY VEGETARIAN: Lively Vegan Cuisine That’s Easy and Delicious!”
With over 120 dazzling vegan recipes, more full-color photos, and 25 new recipes from Season Ten of the highly successful PBS television series, this updated edition divulges Laura’s secrets for creating light, wholesome, and satisfying dishes that everyone can master.
From tips on how to be more efficient in the kitchen, to the best way to shop for organic produce, Laura’s passion for cooking is contagious and her dedication to a vegan lifestyle motivational.