Pasta with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Here is an easy & tasty vegetarian pasta dish that is guaranteed to win over kids & adults alike.  Here’s what you’ll need to prepare 4 servings.


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough lower stems removed
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 pound rigatoni pasta
  • Sea salt, to taste


First you’ll want to blanch the broccoli rabe.  If you are no familiar with blanching, you’ll want to bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and set up a bowl of ice water.  Cook the broccoli rabe in the boiling water for approximately 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the broccoli rabe and immediately plunge in the ice water. This will stop the broccoli rabe from overcooking.

broccoli rabe is high in vitamins A and C

Drain the broccoli rabe in a colander.  Gently squeeze out any excess water & chop.  Place the broccoli rabe in a food processor and puree.  Add the toasted pine nuts and parmesan and puree until smooth.  Add salt to taste.  Add in the ricotta cheese & gently pulse until combined. Taste for desired saltiness again, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.  Cook following the al dente directions on package.

While the pasta is cooking, add the pesto mixture to a large skillet (over medium-high heat) with about one cup of the water from the cooking pasta.

When the pasta has finished cooking, drain and combine with the pesto in the large skillet.  Stir and cook until the pasta-sauce mixture is heated through (about 1 to 2 minutes).  Garnish with a little extra parmesan cheese and serve!

Other vegetarian recipes you may enjoy:

Quinoa with Shiitake Mushrooms

Easy Asparagus Risotto

Cold Asian Vegetable Pasta Salad

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