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scoop of pasta with rapini served from blue skillet

Pasta with Rapini, Anchovies and Crushed Almonds

Pasta and rapini, a classic combination from the Puglia region of Italy. This recipe includes anchovies and is topped with toasted, crushed almonds thus taking this simple dish to a whole new level!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta with rapini
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 portions
Calories 457kcal


  • 2 bunches rapini
  • 4 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets in oil canned or bottled
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 450 grams pasta
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds crushed


  • Rinse the rapini well and trim off the tough ends.  Blanch in a large pot of salted, boiling water for 4-5 minutes.  Drain well and set aside to cool slightly. Then give it a rough chop and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt, and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve some of the cooking water for the sauce, if needed.
  • While the pasta is cooking heat olive oil in a large skillet and add minced garlic. Add chopped anchovy fillets and stir. Use the back of the spoon to crush the anchovy fillets. They will practically dissolve the oil-garlic mixture.  Add a pinch or red pepper flakes, if using.
  • Add the reserved chopped rapini and stir to coat in the garlic-anchovy oil.  Stir in the cooked pasta and toss to combine well with the rapini. Top with extra olive oil, if needed, and pasta cooking water to help adhere the rapini mixture to the pasta.
  • Serve hot topped with crushed almonds.

For the crushed almonds:

  • Roast almonds in a 350F preheated oven for about 20 minutes, tossing them occasionally. Let cool, then transfer to mortar and pestle to crush or place in your food processor and pulse a few times.



  • Choose rapini with dark green leaves and plenty of buds (those are my favorite part) that have not turned yellow.
  • To save time, blanch your rapini ahead of time and keep refrigerated until you are ready to cook your pasta and assemble this dish.
  • You may reserve the rapini cooking water to boil your pasta in, if you wish. 
  • I chose Mafaldine pasta for this recipe but you may choose substitute with a pasta of your choice. Orecchiette is a classic pasta choice that is most often paired with rapini.
  • Turn this into a main dish by adding crumbled sausage (without the casing) in the 3  step of the recipe.


Calories: 457kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 365mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1975IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 3mg