Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Bolognese Sauce

Total Time
40 min
20 min
20 min
Sauteed ground beef is flavored with fennel, garlic, pepper and fire-roasted tomatoes. Tossed with broccoli rabe and pasta, it makes a terrific, hearty main meal.


table salt

tsp, for cooking pasta

olive oil

2 tsp

uncooked onion(s)

1 cup(s), chopped

minced garlic

1 Tbsp

uncooked 93% lean ground beef

¾ pound(s)

fennel seed

2½ tsp

canned crushed tomatoes

28 oz, fire-roasted recommended

table salt

¼ tsp

crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp

dried oregano

½ tsp

uncooked whole wheat pasta

12 oz, penne rigate suggested

cooked broccoli rabe

1 pound(s), ends trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, to make sauce, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add beef and fennel seeds to skillet; cook until browned, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. While sauce simmers, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions, adding broccoli rabe to pasta water 5 minutes before pasta will be done; cook until pasta and broccoli rabe are tender.
  5. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe; return to pot. Add sauce; toss to mix and coat. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.


This recipe is also great with lean ground turkey instead of beef. Not a broccoli rabe fan? Use regular broccoli instead.

A happier, healthier you starts here