Geoffrey Zakarian makes his Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This classic pasta dish pairs the bright and bitter flavor of broccoli rabe with rich and deliciously fatty pork. I created this version to utilize leftover pork from my Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder recipe. If you don’t have the leftover pork shoulder, you can easily use pork sausage or chopped-up leftover pork chops or pork loin. It is a versatile dish that works great with any protein and is perfect for a quick weeknight meal. If you like it on the milder side, you can omit the Thai bird chile and only use the crushed red pepper flakes. Orecchiette is the perfect pasta for this dish because you can easily get a bit of every ingredient in one bite.



  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the broccoli rabe into the boiling water and cook until bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve the water for the pasta. Transfer the broccoli rabe with tongs or a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and dry on a kitchen towel, then chop into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Return the water to a boil and cook the orecchiette according to the package directions.
  3. When the pasta has about 5 minutes left, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, Thai chile, red pepper flakes, anchovies and parsley. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli rabe to the skillet and stir to coat.
  4. Add the pork and cook an additional minute to warm through. Stir about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water directly into the skillet. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, add the wine and pasta to the skillet along with more olive oil to moisten, if necessary. Cook until the pasta absorbs the sauce. Stir in the Parmesan. Adjust the seasonings as necessary and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.
  5. Serve with extra grated Parmesan.