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Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Pasta

Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Pasta is a classic blend of broccoli rabe and creamy beans tossed with pasta. The slightly bitter taste of this greens perfectly complements the rich, smooth white beans. It creates a meal that’s not just delicious but packed with fiber and flavor.

These broccoli rabe and bean are staples in Italian cuisine, particularly in Southern Italy where healthy greens and legumes are the backbone of their rustic, nutritious meals. Traditionally, these ingredients were favored by farming families for their affordability and nutritional value. 

Broccoli rabe, with its bitter edge, was easy to grow, and white beans were a protein-rich addition that could be dried and stored for long periods. Combined, they create a dish that’s not only budget-friendly but also delectable and sustenance. That’s why they’re a popular choice through the generations.

It’s super simple, seriously tasty, and it’s got everything you need for a filling dinner. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in some greens and fiber. Seriously, it’s a dinner winner on any night!

  • In just 25 minutes, you can cook a meal that’s bursting with deliciousness. 
  • This recipe keeps your budget in check without skimping on yumminess or nutrition.
  • Packed with fiber and protein, this pasta recipe is not just filling but also nourishing.
  • Just as delicious the next day; store it in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy as an effortless lunch.
  • With its mild taste and creamy texture, it’s a wonderful way to introduce more greens into your children’s diet.
  • Unlike heavier pasta dishes laden with cream or cheese, this recipe is comforting yet remains light and digestible. 

Serves: 4-5 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time:25 minutes

  • 12 oz/340g dry linguine or spaghetti
  • 1 bunch/10 oz/310g broccoli rabe/rapini
  • 2 tbsp/30ml olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cup/315g cooked white beans, drained
  • 5 cloves/25g garlic, minced
  • 1/2 -1 tsp/1-2g crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp/1g dried parsley
  • 1/2 -1 tsp/3-6g salt
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice/15-30ml lemon juice

Seasoned bread crumbs:

  • 1/2 cup/35g fresh bread crumbs (panko or homemade)
  • 1 tbsp/4g nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp/ 1/2g ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp/ 1/2g dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp/2g salt
  • 2 tsp/10ml olive oil

1. Make the bread crumbs: Preheat oven to 350°F/175 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. In a medium bowl combine the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, oregano, black pepper, and salt. Stir to mix. Drizzle in 2 tsp/10ml olive oil and stir until crumbs are just moistened.

2. Sprinkle on baking sheet in an even layer.Bake for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Bread crumbs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

3. Make pasta: Mince the garlic. Wash and dry broccoli rabe, trim off the end of the stems and cut in halves or thirds for pieces no longer than 3”/8cm.

4. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions to al dente. Drain.

5. In a large pan, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the beans, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly, until the beans are warm through.

6. Add the garlic and the chopped broccoli rabe and cook, stirring regularly, for 3-5 minutes until stems are just tender.

7. Add in the salt and lemon juice to taste. Remove from heat and add in the drained pasta. Toss to coat everything.

8. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of the bread crumbs.

🍝 Spinach or Swiss chard – If broccoli rabe’s bitterness isn’t your thing, swap it out for spinach or Swiss chard for a milder taste.

🍝 Chickpeas or plant-based sausage – For an extra protein hit, throw in some chickpeas or cannellini beans instead of white beans, or add some plant-based sausage for a smoky hit.

🍝 Vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast – Sprinkle some vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast on top before serving to add a nutty, cheesy side that complements the earthy greens.

🍝 Orecchiette or farfalle – While linguine or spaghetti works great, trying orecchiette or farfalle can make for a fun variation in texture and help scoop up more of the sauce.

🍝 Red pepper flakes – If you enjoy a little heat, consider adding crushed red pepper flakes during cooking to spice up the dish.

🍝 Toasted pine nuts or walnuts – Add some toasted pine nuts or walnuts at the end for a yummy crunch that complements the creamy beans and tender greens.

🍝 Mushrooms, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes – Add more vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes for additional scrumptiousness.

  1. Cooling: Allow the pasta to cool completely before storing. This prevents the steam from creating moisture which can lead to soggy noodles.
  2. Airtight Container: Transfer the pasta to an airtight container. This protects it from absorbing unwanted odors and flavors from the refrigerator.
  3. Retain Moisture: Before sealing the container, add a small amount of the reserved pasta water. This helps the pasta maintain its texture when reheated.
  4. Refrigeration: Place the sealed container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the pasta should remain fresh for 3 to 5 days.
  5. Reheating: When ready to enjoy again, reheat the pasta gently in a skillet over medium heat. If the pasta appears dry, add a little more pasta water. Adjust seasonings like salt and pepper to taste and consider adding extra ingredients such as freshly chopped broccoli rabe, garlic, or a dash of spicy elements to enhance flavor.
  6. Optional Enhancements: To make the pasta even more appealing, incorporate additional ingredients based on your preference or what’s available in your kitchen. Options include fresh basil, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, or integrating elements from other meals like pizza toppings or sautéed vegetables.

MORE PASTA RECIPES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CAN I PREPARE BROCCOLI RABE AHEAD OF TIME TO SAVE ON COOKING TIME?

Absolutely! You can cut broccoli rabe and store it in the fridge a day before you plan to cook. Just cover it tightly to keep it fresh. This little prep can make your cooking process much less stressful, especially when you’re busy.

HOW CAN I MAKE MY BROCCOLI RABE LESS BITTER?

Broccoli rabe is known for its bitter edge, but if you want to soften the bitterness, try blanching it before sautéing. Simply boil it in salted water for about two minutes, then plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking process. This helps to reduce the bitterness while retaining that vibrant green color.

WHAT CAN I DO IF THE DISH TURNS OUT TOO DRY?

If your pasta dish feels a bit dry after combining all the ingredients, don’t hesitate to add a cup of pasta water to loosen things up. The starchy water helps to make the sauce creamy and rich without adding extra fat.

CAN THIS DISH BE MADE WITH ANY OTHER TYPES OF BEANS?

Yes, you can easily swap out white beans for other varieties like black beans or kidney beans depending on your preference or what you have on hand. Each type of bean will offer a slightly different flavor and texture but will still be delicious in this Italian dish.

CAN THIS RECIPE BE DOUBLED FOR LARGER GATHERINGS?

Certainly! This recipe scales up wonderfully. Just double the ingredients, but make sure you use a large enough pot to accommodate the increased quantity of water for the boil and a big enough skillet or pot for sautéing the beans and broccoli rabe. This way, everything cooks evenly and you have plenty to garnish and serve at your gathering.

Broccoli Rabe Cannellini Beans Pasta

If you’re craving a dish that's simple yet full of flavor, you've got to try Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Pasta. This simple combo has been a go-to in Italian cooking, especially on busy days, because it's easy to throw together and always hits the spot.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 565kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Ingredients

Seasoned bread crumbs:

Instructions

  • 1. Make the bread crumbs: Preheat oven to 350°F/175 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. In a medium bowl combine the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, oregano, black pepper, and salt. Stir to mix. Drizzle in 2 tsp/10ml olive oil and stir until crumbs are just moistened.
  • 2. Sprinkle on baking sheet in an even layer.Bake for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Bread crumbs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • 3. Make pasta: Mince the garlic. Wash and dry broccoli rabe, trim off the end of the stems and cut in halves or thirds for pieces no longer than 3”/8cm.
  • 4. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions to al dente. Drain.
  • 5. In a large pan, heat the olive oil on medium. Add the beans, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly, until the beans are warm through.
  • 6. Add the garlic and the chopped broccoli rabe and cook, stirring regularly, for 3-5 minutes until stems are just tender.
  • 7. Add in the salt and lemon juice to taste. Remove from heat and add in the drained pasta. Toss to coat everything.
  • 8. Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of the bread crumbs.

Notes

TIPS, VARIATIONS, AND SUBSTITUTIONS

 
🍝 Spinach or Swiss chard – If broccoli rabe’s bitterness isn’t your thing, swap it out for spinach or Swiss chard for a milder taste.
🍝 Chickpeas, cannellini beans, or plant-based sausage – For an extra protein hit, throw in some chickpeas or cannellini beans instead of white beans, or add some plant-based sausage for a smoky hit.
🍝 Vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast – Sprinkle some vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast on top before serving to add a nutty, cheesy side that complements the earthy greens.
🍝 Orecchiette or farfalle – While linguine or spaghetti works great, trying orecchiette or farfalle can make for a fun variation in texture and help scoop up more of the sauce.
🍝 Red pepper flakes – If you enjoy a little heat, consider adding crushed red pepper flakes during cooking to spice up the dish.
🍝 Toasted pine nuts or walnuts – Add some toasted pine nuts or walnuts at the end for a yummy crunch that complements the creamy beans and tender greens.
🍝 Mushrooms, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes – Add more vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or sun-dried tomatoes for additional scrumptiousness.

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 565kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 854mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1939IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 6mg | Net Carbohydrates: 83g

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