Pork & Broccoli Rabe Pasta (Gluten & Dairy Free)

Fresh broccoli rabe and sweet tomatoes add color and flavor to this pork pasta dish.

Fresh broccoli rabe and sweet tomatoes add color and flavor to this pork pasta dish.

One of the "compromises" that is often overlooked when you decide to move in with a loved one revolves around food. Who cooks it, who shops for it, what exactly are you eating every night?!

I must admit, I am extremely lucky that my guy is so easy going when it comes to food. It was pretty much a given that I would be the one doing the majority of the cooking/shopping (although he makes a good leftovers calentado!), but I didn't know how he would feel about the healthier meals I prepare. Luckily, he will eat almost anything I give him and I think he's started to see the "real food makes me feel better" divine light. 

But the other day while we were grocery shopping he had a sudden request for pasta, a dish I don't often make at home. Don't get me wrong, pasta is delicious, just not something that usually winds up in my meal prep rotation. 

I had already bought some ground pork to use that week and racked my brain quickly for an idea. And that's when this Pork & Broccoli Rabe Pasta came to me. It's a riff on a common Italian dish which uses pork sausage and orecchiette pasta along with fresh broccoli rabe.

 
 

Using the fresh ground pork here rather than the sausage means you can't adjust the flavor as you see fit and you won't need to spend time removing the sausage from the casing. I also chose to use Banza Chickpea Pasta Shells (which are gluten-free). For a pop of color and extra anti-oxidants, I also added some fresh tomatoes right before the dish is done.

This meal comes together in under 30 minutes and holds together well, making it perfect for meal prep to have on hand later in your week. 

Needless to say, neither of us have to compromise when it comes to this Pork & Broccoli Rabe dish!

Pork & Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Serves: 6

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces gluten-free shell or orecchiette pasta (like Banza chickpea pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground pork, preferably pasture-raised and free of antibiotics or hormones
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 12 ounces), trimmed & thick stalks removed
  • 2 cups chopped tomato (preferably a smaller variety like cherry, grape or Campari)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, saving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Set liquid and pasta aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the garlic slices and red pepper flakes. Cook two minutes or until fragrant, being sure not to burn the garlic. Remove the garlic and set aside.
  3. Add the pork to the pan and season with ground clove plus 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Let meat brown for 8 to ten minutes. Do not over mix which will prevent the meat from browning. When cooked, add in the broccoli rabe and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until wilted.
  4. Place heat on low. Toss in the tomatoes, pasta, cooked garlic, white wine, lemon zest and pasta liquid. Toss well to combine and let cook about 2 minutes. Add in remaining salt and pepper, toss well and serve immediately.