Broccoli Rabe as a Side Dish and as a Main Course!

I had never had Broccoli Rabe until I met my Italian husband. And now I think I love it more than many Italians! It is probably my favorite green vegetable. Broccoli Rabe has a depth of flavor that isn’t found in a lot of other green veggies. Broccoli Rabe RawMany people don’t like it because it can have a bitter flavor. If prepared properly, however, it is a whole lot of deliciousness. In New York, at the Italian grocers’, you can buy this already prepared from the deli counters, here in California, I have to make it myself; which isn’t hard but definitely limits how often I get it!

Be sure to take the time to par boil the vegetable. This step minimizes much of the bitterness.

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

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Broccoli Rabe Two Ways

Broccoli rabe is also known as "rapini" and in Italy they sometimes call it "rocket."
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Anna


Broccoli Rabe Solo

  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Hot pepper flakes,, a pinch if you want it mild, many pinches if you want it spicier

Broccoli Rabe with Sweet Italian Sausage

  • All ingredients above
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage


Directions for Broccoli Rabe Solo

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, cut the thick stems off the broccoli rabe just below the first leaf, then cut the broccoli rabe into two inch long pieces. (You can cook the whole stem, which I think makes a nicer presentation, but it will be easier to eat in smaller bites.)
  • Put the broccoli rabe into the boiling water for 4 minutes.
  • After 4 minutes strain in a colander and rinse with very cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Spin dry in a salad spinner or wring the moisture out of the broccoli rabe using a clean dish towel.
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat then add the olive oil.
  • Once the olive oil is shimmering, add the garlic, the broccoli rabe, the salt, and the pepper flakes.
  • Cook for 10 minutes until tender but not mushy, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, add salt to taste and serve.

Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Italian Sausage - Main Course

  • Prepare the broccoli rabe through Step 5.
  • Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cut the sweet Italian sausage into 1 inch pieces.
  • Cook the sausage in the olive oil until cooked through. This should be about 8-10 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the sausage. When I buy the branded sausage, the cooking time is less than when I buy the fresh sausage from the butcher.
  • Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
  • Add 2 more Tablespoons olive oil to the same skillet (less if there is still fat in the skillet, it will depend on the fat released from the sausage).
  • Once it is heated up, add the broccoli rabe, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes.
  • Cook for about 8 minutes, then add the sausage, with any juices that have accumulated, back into the skillet.
  • Continue cooking until broccoli rabe is tender crisp.
  • Add salt to taste and serve!


Gr8 Do Ahead Tips:
  • You can prepare the Broccoli Rabe up through Step 5 and sauté when ready to serve.
  • You can also, prepare the whole dish up to two hours ahead of time and serve at room temperature or gently re-warm over low heat.
Gr8 Serving Tips:
Make a sandwich using the leftovers; Italian or French bread, broccoli rabe, mozzarella cheese or ricotta cheese, tomatoes and olive oil.
Gr8 Wine Tip:
Pass a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape or  Chianti Classico and you have a delicious feast!
Gr8 Tip:
This is an entire meal with a loaf of bread, or you can serve this over orrechiette pasta, which has been cooked and tossed in olive oil or butter.
Tried this recipe?Mention @Great8Friends or tag #gr8food!


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