Spaghetti with Broccoli Rabe-Kale Pesto

We’re getting excited for Spring and all of the great local veggies that will soon arrive! The first sign of Spring is the addition of a super limited amount of broccoli rabe! Never heard of it? It also goes by the name Rapini and is widely used in Italian cuisine. It’s a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron. The majority of the plant is edible, including the leaves, buds and most of the stem, but cut off any woody parts at the end of the stem. It won’t be inedible, but it may be a bit chewy!

This recipe combines all of the great health benefits of broccoli rabe and kale to make a quick and easy pesto that can be used on just about anything! Always feel free to put your touch on the recipe! Add some chicken, fry up a pork chop and smoother it with pesto, it’s now yours to modify! Soon, I may have to try replacing the original olive oil with a little bit of jalapeno olive oil to spice it up a bit! Hope you enjoy!


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Immerse broccoli rabe to blanch until bright green, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain in a colander, and transfer to a blender or food processor. Repeat with kale, blanching about 3 minutes; reserve blanching water. Pulse broccoli rabe and kale with garlic and a pinch of red chili flakes. With blender running, drizzle in olive oil and 1/4 cup blanching water; process until smooth.

Cook spaghetti in blanching water according to package directions; drain, return to pot, and toss with pesto, 2 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 tablespoons pine nuts. Serve topped with remaining Parmesan, pine nuts and a pinch of chili flakes.


  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 12 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red chili flakes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1-2 bunches coarsely chopped broccoli rabe
  • 1 large bunch coarsely chopped kale

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