Broccoli rabe, or “rapini,” is one of my favorite vegetables that is used frequently in Italian cuisine. It has a sharp flavor, so blanching it in the pasta water for a bit helps to tame a bit of the bitterness. That said, I absolutely love the flavor.
While broccoli rabe is not actually in the broccoli family, if you can’t find it, broccolini is a good substitute here (and what we used in these photos!) – or really any dark leafy green, too! In that case, you can skip the blanching step.
This is a great one-pot weeknight dinner because you’ve got your protein, veggies, and carbs all in one pan. It’s such an easy complete meal!
Chicken and Broccoli Rabe Pasta
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for the pasta water
- 1/2 pound 8 ounces pasta, such as fusilli
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Half a rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and shredded, about 2 cups shredded meat
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season the water generously with salt. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions indicate, about 6 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe to the water with the pasta and cook for an additional minute. Drain well reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat an additional minute. To the hot oil add the garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken and toss well to coat in all the flavors. Cook, stirring often until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the pasta to the pan along with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Toss well to combine adding the pasta water as needed to create a light sauce. Serve with additional cheese if desired.