We make a pilgrimage to Italy every year.  We try to go other places but the food, weather and the people just keep calling us back for more Italian adventures.  Each time we go, we try and visit a new region of the country. That is the great thing about Italy – the regional cuisines.  Each region has their way of doing things, distinct pastas, different meats, new sauces.  This past trip, we visited southern Italy, which happens to be the poorest part of the country but their regional cuisine is rich in vibrant vegetarian dishes.  This broccoli is inspired by some of the flavours we enjoyed there.

Italian Broccoli Rabe

Ok, I know what you are going to say…Anchovies?! Yuck!  And yes, in premise, they are yuck but as cheap and easy flavour makers, they pack a punch.  They give this beautiful umami flavour  and it this dish just isn’t the same without them.  I promise, it won’t taste fishy and as soon as you start to smell them cooking in the oil with the garlic, you will thank me and wonder how you ever made broccoli before this recipe.

Italian Broccoli Rabe

This broccoli dish is perfect as a side or an easy vehicle for your soft egg for breakfast or lunch.  You can even make extra and throw the leftovers into a grain bowl or tray bake.

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe


  • 200g Broccoli Rabe
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 15g almonds, chopped or flaked
  • salt and pepper for season


  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add anchovies and sauté until they melt into the olive oil.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add broccoli and toss in the oil and garlic mixture to coat. Add chilli flakes. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next poor in the water, stir, and place a lid on the pan and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove lid, add in almonds and turn up the heat slightly and cook until the remaining liquid is reduced - about 1 minute.
  4. To serve, place the broccoli on the plate and spoon over the almond mixture and remaining pain juices.