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Pasta With Pancetta & Broccoli Rabe

This simple yet incredible Pasta with Pancetta & Broccoli Rabe will transport you to a Sicilian Café. Easy to make and easy to customize swapping the rabe for spinach or broccolini.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian, Italian American
Keyword: pancetta broccoli rabe pasta, Pasta with pancetta
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1050kcal


  • 1 pound pasta bucatini, pappardelle or linguini, etc.
  • 6 oz pancetta
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • Handful of broccoli rabe or broccolini
  • Salt & black pepper
  • ½ cup grated or shredded Pecorino Romano Cheese more for garnish
  • Parsley garnish


  • Start by crisping up your pancetta. If your pancetta is not already chopped into cubes, do so and then toss it in a pan over medium heat stirring often until crisped to your liking. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
  • Get your pasta water going and be sure to really salt the water. Like Gordon Ramsay says, you want the water to taste like the ocean.
  • In a large sauté pan, add your olive oil, and as soon as the oil heats up, add your shallots and sauté them for a minute or so, moving them around. Quickly add in your red pepper flakes, garlic and pine nuts and sauté for 30 seconds or so (over medium heat) moving them around. Add in your wine and chicken stock and allow it to just come to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, blanch your broccoli rabe in the pasta water for 2 ½ to 3 minutes, then pull them out and toss them into the saucepan. (You can also do this ahead or separately if you wish)
  • Cook your pasta to 1-2 minutes under al dente (per package instruction) and SAVE 1 cup of the pasta water. It's always hard to remember to save the water before straining however you need it!
  • Turn your sauce back on over medium heat, add your pasta, pasta water, cheese and toss, toss toss. Add in black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning (add salt if you feel it needs it as well as additional red pepper flakes if you want heat). Cooking another minute or two.


Choose any pasta you enjoy for this recipe. Swap broccoli rabe for broccolini. You can even use spinach as well. 


Serving: 4servings | Calories: 1050kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 653mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1709IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 4mg