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Broccoli Rabe and Fig Pasta


This Roman dish with bitter broccoli rabe lightly sweetened with figs and an added kick of chili flakes is addicting. We eat this often as it is very quick and easy to put together and is very satisfying.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4-6 ServingsServings


  • 1 medium bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 2 inch sections
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chilies
  • 3 anchovy filets
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped figs
  • 1 pound cooked pasta, I use whole wheat orecchiette or “ears”, their shape holds the sauce well, RESERVE ½ CUP OF PASTA COOKING WATER
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garnish-parmesan cheese (if desired), chopped parsley


1. Bring a large of water to a boil and blanch the broccoli rabe for 2 minutes. This removes the bitterness. Immediately plunge (shock) the broccoli rabe into ice water to stop the cooking.

2. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Generously coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add the garlic, crushed chilies and anchovy filets. Cook until the anchovies almost dissolve (about 1-2 minutes).

3. Add the tomato paste, figs, blanched broccoli rabe, and pasta water and cook until the mixture becomes thick and most of the water cooks out (about 5 minutes). Add the cooked pasta and toss together. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve with salad, bread and garnish with cheese for a daily meal.