Strozzapreti Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Guanciale

Broccoli rabe is a classic ingredient in Italian cuisine. Cooking softens its bitter nature and make it a great partner to guanciale in this pasta dish. Strozzapreti Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Guanciale

Strozzapreti Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Guanciale 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from La Cucina ItalianaPublished


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed
  • salt
  • 3 ounce guanciale or unsmoked bacon
  • 6 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup coarse plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound dried strozzapreti, gemelli or orecchiette pasta
  • 1 cup parmesan, shaved or grated


Cook broccoli rabe in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Reserving water, transfer broccoli rabe to a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Gently squeeze out excess water, then roughly chop.

In a large skillet, combine guanciale and 4 tablespoons oil; heat over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until guanciale begins to crisp, about 4 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes more. Transfer mixture to a large serving bowl (big enough to toss the pasta). Return skillet to medium heat; add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring constantly, until breadcrumbs are golden, about 5 minutes; remove from heat.

Return pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta and add to bowl with broccoli rabe. Add breadcrumb mixture and ¼ cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Toss to combine. Moisten with extra pasta cooking liquid, if desired. Serve immediately, sprinkled with cheese.