Gemelli with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon and Chickpeas: Flavorful Fall Meal

This recipe is a family favorite. It is unbelievably flavorful and can be made in minutes. While we certainly love to serve it over freshly made pasta from the refrigerated section of the grocery, we agree that the dietitian recommendation to serve it with whole grain pasta is a healthier option. We are also excited to add extra veggies, as recommended, the next time we make this dish. I think adding mushrooms or red bell peppers would really add a lot of flavor, texture, and color to the dish. We are also considering serving without the pasta as a side dish to wood plank grilled fish. Yum!

Gemelli with Broccoli Rabe, Bacon, and Chickpeas (Original Recipe)

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 8 ounces uncooked whole grain pasta
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Bring four quarts of water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well. Coarsely chop and set aside. Return water to a boil. Add pasta to pan; cook according to package directions. Saute bacon with red pepper flakes until crisp. Remove bacon and all but 1 tsp of drippings from pan.  Saute onions until translucent.  Add blanched broccoli rabe, spinach, and chickpeas. Saute for 5 minutes.  Add 3/4 cup of pasta water and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add pasta to broccoli rabe and mix well.  Enjoy!

If You’re Shopping at Langenstein’s…

When shopping at Langenstein’s for this recipe, try using uncured bacon! 

A Touro Dietitian’s Perspective

I would add more veggies (red peppers and spinach would be delicious) and use whole wheat pasta to add in more fiber. I would also suggest this be a side item served with a lean meat such as chicken or fish.

Healthy Makeover


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