Photo: John Autry; Styling: Hagen Stegall
Total Time
35 Mins
4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

Penne works well in this dish if gemelli isn't available.

How to Make It

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add broccoli rabe to pan; cook 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well. Coarsely chop. Return water to a boil. Add pasta to pan; cook according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl; reserve 3/4 cup pasta water. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add garlic and chickpeas to drippings in pan; sauté 2 minutes or until garlic is golden. Stir in broccoli rabe, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cook 3 minutes or until broccoli rabe is heated. Stir in pasta, 3/4 cup pasta water, and bacon; toss well.

You May Like

Ratings & Reviews

Definitely needs doctoring up. Two stars for the actual recipe. Three stars after doctoring it up.

October 01, 2015
I used a mix of mustard and turnip greens because there was nothing else available where I live.  I also added a small piece of chicken bouillon to the pasta water.  I used a little bit more bacon and bacon drippings than it called for, added a dash of olive oil and quite a bit of parmesan cheese (1/3-1/2 cup).  I did have to go with the Penne pasta since the other was unavailable.  At the end, I squeezed almost a whole lemon over the dish.  It was still just average, but it's a good way to get leafy greens in your diet.  I also put in 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes per another reviewer's recommendation.  I used chickpeas that DID contain sodium because there were no sodium-free available.  And I DID add some salt to my pasta water before cooking it.  If I would have left these changes off I couldn't imagine how bland this would have been.  Ugh.  But if you're looking for a healthy, edible dish, this will do. Probably will not make this again though, honestly.  I personally think 3/4 pound of greens would have been better than a whole pound, but that's just me.  P.S. My husband said he really liked it...but I think he was just trying to be kind.

JoGee4's Review

March 26, 2014
Either pour a can of chicken broth in the mix or scoop pasta water in and add chicken base to taste. Add some hot pepper flakes and double garlic. Lots of grated cheese. Delish

Ramonalite's Review

September 02, 2013
If you are like me and 3 stars scares you - don't let it scare you - this is a great dinner - we love it - I don't think I'd make it for a special occasion - but if you like broccoli Rabe or Spinach or kale and garbanzo beans and who doesn't love bacon - try this -- we just love the flavor and the nutritional stats

katrinavan's Review

June 02, 2013
It was blah. Needed sauce.

BlueandBlueJay's Review

July 11, 2012
I substituted garlic powder for garlic, broccoli for broccoli rabe(my grocery store didn't have it) and big slices of turkey bacon for regular bacon. I also made the pasta separately and tossed it in olive oil, and added a dash of balsamic vinegar when I sauteed the other ingredients. Overall its a good solid dinner- nothing mind blowing- but tasty, simple, and filling.

cluhrrr's Review

October 25, 2010
While I liked the combination of brocolli rabe, bacon and chickpeas (not something I would have thought of on my own!), I agree with the other reviews that this kind of lacks something. It does provide a good base for adding other ingredients and flavors.

TerriS2's Review

September 29, 2010
I have already made this twice and given the recipe to a friend. It is easy, healthy and tasty. We love it!

aim2014's Review

September 15, 2010
This was good, but not super special. Good flavor combo, but I can see where others are coming from when they say it doesn't seem very integrated. I added 1/3 c. Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a splash of olive oil, all of which helped. This was my first time using broccoli rabe, and I enjoyed it -- very healthy-tasting. This used quite a few dishes for a just-OK meal; I'll enjoy the leftovers, but probably won't make it again.

SuzanneM's Review

September 08, 2010
We thought this was a great weeknight dish! Although I changed some of the ingredients, I followed the proportions and steps to put together a really flavorful pasta dish. I used prosciutto instead of the bacon, white beans rather than garbanzos, and chard instead of the broccoli rabe (store was out). We finished the dish with a few dashes of olive oil and some freshly-grated romano. Very easy and tasty. Will definitely make this again!

WendeM's Review

September 08, 2010
We liked this. I used the penne instead of the gemelli because I couldn't find it. I think it would have been nicer with a sauce but my daughter scarfed up all the leftovers. What a suprise!