Garlic Broccoli Rabe Pasta Quickest Meal Ever

My little one has been tugging me in all different directions. The latest has been to ride on his grandfather's tractor morning, noon and night. And if you tell him that he can't do as he pleases he won't hear of it. Literally. 

This has left little time on my hands to put dinner on the table. Fortunately I have collected an arsenal of dishes that can be put together faster than loved ones can ask, "What's for dinner, honey?" Our latest favorite is garlic broccoli rabe pasta, a garlicky one pot vegetarian meal at its best.

As the pasta is boiling the broccoli rabe is added to the same pot in the final 3-4 minutes of pasta cooking for a quick blanch to mellow the bitterness. Once the pasta and broccoli are drained that same pot is used to toast the garlic in olive oil, making clean up a breeze and leaving more time for everyone to dabble in play.

Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
From Gourmet, September 2006 via Smitten Kitchen
  • 1 pound pasta, any shape
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 1- to 2-inch sections 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed 
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste 
  • About 1 heaping teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste) 
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, to sprinkle on top (optional)
  1. Bring a huge pot of salted water to a boil, it should taste like the sea. Add pasta and 3-4 minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe. It will seem like too much for the water, but with a stir or two, the rabe should wilt and cook alongside the pasta. Drain rabe and pasta together and pour into serving bowl. 
  2. In the same pot or a tiny one, heat the olive oil with the garlic, pepper flakes and Kosher salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Pour mixture over pasta and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese.
Serves 4. 


La Table De Nana said...

I ake this w/ it the same thing?

That could put so many captions beside the expression!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Alex is adorable and that's a great shot Christine. Looks like he has no down pat.

What is it about boys and tractors? It just seems like a natural friendship from the beginning. How great for his grandfather that he enjoys being with him on the tractor. A great way to bond.

Love your quick and easy pasta. And so healthy too!

lostpastremembered said...

Love that pasta shape! Such a clever idea to do it all in one pot. I hate it when it takes twice as long to clean up as it does to cook. This solves all that and looks perfect for a quick meal. In the time it takes to put your coat away... you've got dinner!

Velva said...

Not only do you manage to pull off "sat" you pull off "healthy and delicious too".

Alex is a cutie pie!


Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

My life needs more dishes like this so I can enjoy more of the life that is happening around me!

Angie's Recipes said...

Quick, healthy and delicious.

Andrea said...

Your little man is soooo cute!

Quick, healthy pasta dishes often save dinner in our house! :) Yours sounds delicious!

White Hot Oven said...

1) Cannot wait to try this -- anything to take time out of our horrible kitchen!
2) Hopefully no offense is taken - but that face is such a you face! All I see is you in him. How adorable is he? Oh I do hope we get to see you soon. xo

tasteofbeirut said...

Way way better than the boxed macaroni and cheese I am guilty of making for my kids when they were little!

Claudia said...

I love that photo of Alex! Who doesn't want to put their hands to their ear from time to time and shut out the naysayers!

That pasta is standby here. It always is a hit.

Sara said...

Oh my goodness, he gets cuter every single day! And the pasta looks amazing! Might have to see if the hubby can pull that off one night this week!

About Last Weekend said...

Priceless - that wee picture made my day!

lisa is cooking said...

He's so cute with his hands over his ears! I love a quick pasta meal like this. Broccoli rabe and garlic were meant to be together.

kale said...

I absolutely love one pot pasta dishes. Looks fabulous!

Stephanie said...

Looks delish and Little One is getting so big! Where does the time go? :)

Ko said...

Good for you! I love simple dish like you do on this post. You can taste the best of single or two of its ingredients. I often wonder when I see many foodie bloggers use so many ingredients, different seasoning and preparation steps, and stack up so high on a plate with many decorative garnishes. What do they want to accomplish for the dish (taste or decoration?) and who is going to clean up all the mess after cooking?
I hope they have very nice gentle partner or cleaning lady coming for all the time….
I work in commercial kitchen where we have big prep table and sink, large gas ranges and ovens.... and most importantly 3 compartments of sink (washing, rinsing and sanitizing) for washing pots and pans and plus large dishwashing machine does one job in 2 minutes.

Magic of Spice said...

Alex is just so adorable, and growing so fast! This pasta looks incredible and is really making me hungry :)

El said...

So adorable. He's very funny. This is definitely my kind of dish. It looks wonderful.

Tiny Urban Kitchen said...

This is great! Although my husband would never go for it because he would ask "where's the meat?" I guess I would have to add some sausage or something!