Linguine with Broccoli Rabe-Walnut Pesto

Holy greenness! I think this is a really nice spring time meal to prepare for the family. It’s a nice twist on the traditional pesto with the substitution of broccoli rabe instead of basil. It has a much more subtle flavor and the addition of the toasted walnuts is so nice. I also used whole wheat linguine for a little extra fiber and grilled up a chicken breast, chopped it up and mixed it in for additional protein.

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine magazine


  1. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts
  2. 1/2 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. Pinch of crushed red pepper
  6. 1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
  7. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. 3/4 pound linguine


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 8 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden; let cool. Chop 2 tablespoons of the walnuts.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and let cool under cold water. Squeeze out the excess water and coarsely chop the broccoli rabe.
  3. In a food processor, mince the garlic. Add the 1/3 cup of walnuts; pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the broccoli rabe, olive oil and crushed red pepper and process until the broccoli rabe is very finely chopped. Add the 1/3 cup of pecorino and pulse until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the pesto into a large bowl.
  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the linguine until al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the linguine to the pesto sauce, then stir in the reserved cooking water and toss until the pasta is well coated with the pesto sauce. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and serve at once, passing more pecorino at the table.

Make Ahead

The broccoli rabe pesto can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.


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