Pasta, Beans, and Broccoli Rabe

I have 154 cookbooks. I actually visited various bookcases in our house the other day and counted them. The interesting thing is that I’ve read them all, but have rarely followed any of the recipes. I’ve decided to challenge myself, and choose a recipe from a random book once or twice a week, and make something new.

Last night, with a nod to Meatless Monday, I chose a recipe from Susan Feniger’s Street Food. I remember really enjoying reading this book when I purchased it. It’s part travelogue with entertaining stories and beautiful photography. But, running true to form, until last night, I had never cooked anything from the book.

I adapted her recipe for Ditalini Pasta with Roman Broccoli, White Beans, and Pecorino. Susan Feniger’s original recipe starts with dry white beans. I opted for a can of Goya small white beans. Roman Broccoli is another name for Broccoli Rabe.


1 can (15 oz.) small white beans
1 rib of celery
1 carrot
1 small onion
Kosher salt, garlic powder
Bunch of Broccoli Rabe
1/4 cup, plus 2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS chopped garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups Ditalini pasta
1/2 cup grated Pecorino romano cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon


1. Pour the beans into a colander and rinse well.
2. Chop the celery, carrot and onion into small dice.
3. Saute the celery, carrot, onion in a little olive oil until softened. Season with salt and some garlic powder.
4. Add the beans to the vegetables. Mix together and heat to combine. Set aside.
5. Remove the thick ends from the broccoli rabe. Rinse well and chop into approximately two inch pieces.
6. Put it into a heavy bottomed pot. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, chopped garlic, cayenne pepper, 1 tsp. salt. Stir well. Cover the pot and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
7. After 15 minutes, add the additional 2 TBS olive oil and 3 TBS water. Stir and cover the pot. Cook for 8 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave the pan covered for an additional 10 minutes.
8. Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
9. To serve, combine the pasta, beans and broccoli rabe. Add the cheese and lemon juice. Toss to combine.

We’ve decided that this recipe is a definite keeper that will be added to the Meatless Monday rotation.


About Mary Jane

I am a retired English teacher. My husband, Frank, and I have lived on Cape Cod since 2000. I am a lifelong bread baker and writer and have been posting a blog on Falmouth Patch for the last few years. Savory Seasons has been largely devoted to recipes and food in general. I am hoping to expand my focus in this new blog.
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