Linguine with Broccoli Rabe, Pancetta, and Pine Nuts

The classic combination of broccoli rabe, garlic and a touch of hot red pepper is enhanced here by pine nuts and strips of pancetta. If the pancetta is especially lean, you may need to add another tablespoon of olive oil. To substitute bacon for the pancetta, use the same quantity but increase the salt to a half teaspoon.


Slideshow: Fast Weekday Pastas


  • Servings: 4
KEY: Fall, Winter, Italian, Pasta & Noodles, Fast, Dinner, Lunch

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  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, tough ends removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound linguine

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the oven to 350°. Toast the pine nuts in the oven until they are golden brown, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a large frying pan, cook the pancetta with the oil over moderate heat until beginning to crisp. Add the garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until almost done, about 3 minutes. Drain. Add the broccoli rabe to the frying pan along with the salt and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  4. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain and toss with the broccoli rabe and pine nuts.

Suggested Pairing

A crisp white wine is the best idea for this dish as it will cut through the salt of the meat and the richness of the nuts. Choose a Chenin-Blanc-based wine from the Loire Valley in France such as a Savennières or Anjou. Make sure it is dry (not demi-sec).

Photo © Melanie Acevedo Published December 2013

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