If I had to live off of only one food, for me that would be broccoli rabe, hands down! I eat it religiously – at least 2 or 3 times a week. As a staple food in my diet, I always have a bunch or two in the refrigerator for a healthy meal or side dish – I love it that much.
So Why Broccoli Rabe?
Well, because basically it’s like the superhero of foods, that’s why! It’s packed with all kinds of nutritional and health benefits including:
- A smorgasbord of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Just 3.5 ounces provides over 50% of your daily requirements of Vitamins A and C which neutralizes free radicals.
- Helps keep your digestion running smoothly. With 2 grams of fiber per cup, not only does it help clear out your gut of toxins, it also makes you feel fuller and less hungry, which is great for maintaining a healthy weight.
- It’s good for your heart. Containing powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as folate and vitamin C, it helps reduce your risk for heart disease.
- Keeps your bones strong. A half-cup of broccoli rabe contains more than 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K, which has a positive effect on bone mineral density.
- Protects eye health with the vision boosting antioxidant, lutein, that protects the retinas in your eyes from damage caused by free radicals.
- Helps with the liver’s detoxification process due to a high sulfur content.
Simply put broccoli rabe is just GOOD food.
A Classic Italian Dish
Being that broccoli rabe IS my all time favorite veggie, I use it in a lot of different dishes from smoothies to salads and sandwiches to pizza and everything in between. But one of my favorite go-to easy recipes is broccoli rabe with cavatelli.
It’s a classic Italian dish with broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic and olive oil, tossed with cavatelli, and topped with red pepper flakes for a hint of spiciness.
Quick and simple, this recipe is perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Broccoli Rabe with Cavatelli
Yield 4 Servings
1 Bunch broccoli rabe
2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 Package of cavatelli pasta
5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Large garlic cloves, smashed
Ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
- To prepare the broccoli, trim off about a half inch from the bottom of the stems to get rid of any brown ends. Cut the stems from the tops and cut them in half while leaving the tops whole. Wash in lots of cold water, rinsing 2 or 3 times.
- In large stock pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the broccoli rabe. Cook for 2 minutes. Using a strainer, lift the greens out all at once and place the strainer over a large mixing bowl to drain. Set aside. Reserve the water for cooking the cavatelli.
- Bring the reserved water back to a rapid boil. Stir in the cavatelli and cook according to the package instructions.
- While the cavatelli are cooking, in a large sauté pan, add the olive oil and smashed garlic cloves and sauté over medium-low heat until the garlic is lightly golden. Add the drained broccoli rabe to the pan and toss in the oil to coat evenly.
- Drain the cavatelli and toss into the sauté pan together with the broccoli rabe. Season with sea salt, ground black pepper and red pepper flakes according to taste. Serve and enjoy!
When sauteing the garlic, do not let it brown because it will add an unpleasant bitterness to the olive oil altering the overall flavor of the dish.
Courses Dinner, Main Course