Tagliatelle with Broccoli Rabe, Capers and Walnuts

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Perfect for dinner on a busy weeknight or an impromptu get-together with friends, this meatless pasta comes together quickly. Look for prepared fresh pasta in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. We’ve used tagliatelle here, but linguine, pappardelle or any another ribbon-shaped pasta would work just as well. Be sure to reserve some of the cooking water to add when finishing the dish. The starchy liquid gives the sauce a silky smooth texture and helps it cling to the pasta.


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe, tough stems removed, spears cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces
  • 1 lb. (500 g) fresh tagliatelle or similar pasta
  • 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. capers
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) walnuts, toasted
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water, add the broccoli rabe and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Using a skimmer or a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli rabe to a colander and rinse under cold water. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the capers and fry until beginning to crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers to a paper towel–lined plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown, about 1 minute; watch closely so it doesn’t burn. Add the broccoli rabe and toss to coat, then sprinkle in the cheese. Add the pappardelle, reserved pasta cooking water and butter and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle the pasta with the capers, walnuts and lemon zest, transfer to individual bowls and serve immediately. Pass additional cheese at the table. Serves 4.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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