Surprisingly, broccoli rabe is not actually broccoli, nor is it related to broccoli. Â This leafy vegetable, also known as “rapini,” is classified in the same subspecies as the turnip. Â Rapini stalks have large leaves that surround clusters of green buds that look like small heads of broccoli — hence the name. Â Prior to this dish, we had never cooked or eaten broccoli rabe and weren’t quite sure we would like it. Â But we knew rapini is common in Italy (where everything is better) and is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Â Since we’re always looking for healthy — but still delicious — vegetarian meals, we decided to give this pasta and broccoli rabe dish a try. Â We were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the nutty, slightly bitter flavor of the rapini combined with the garlic & olive oil pasta. Â We also liked how quick and easy this meal is to make, with just a few ingredients: Â broccoli rabe, olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, orecchiette pasta and Parmesan cheese. Â As we often do with first-time cooking attempts, we consulted the folks at Cook’s Illustrated (specifically, their book Italian Classics) for a no-fail recipe.