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Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Prep Time20 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time35 mins

 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough lower stems removed
 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted
 3/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for garnish
 Kosher salt
 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
 1/2 pound orecchiette pasta
 High-quality extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing (optional)

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Set up a bowl of well-salted ice water. Cook the broccoli rabe in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes and then immediately plunge in the salted ice water. This will prevent the broccoli rabe from being overcooked and will set the lovely green color.


Drain the broccoli rabe and squeeze out any excess water; coarsely chop. Place the broccoli rabe in the bowl of a food processor and puree until it is a coarse paste. Add the pistachios and parmigiano and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning; you probably will need more salt. Add the ricotta and pulse until combined. Taste for seasoning once again-it should be full-flavored, slightly bitter and creamy at the same time. Set aside.


Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. (If you are making the pasta right after the pesto, just use the broccoli rabe blanching water.) Cook the pasta 1 minute less than the cooking time on the package.


While the pasta is cooking, place the pesto in a large skillet and add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water; place over medium-high heat. When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the skillet with the pesto. Stir vigorously to combine and cook until the sauce is creamy and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes; add salt to taste. Remove from the heat, add 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, if desired, and stir vigorously. Garnish with more parmigiano. Voila!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 4 Servings

Servings 0

Amount Per Serving
Calories 420
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 135g208%

Saturated Fat 44g221%
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 286mg12%
Total Carbohydrate 54g18%

Dietary Fiber 35g140%
Protein 22g44%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.