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Cime di rapa pasta recipe image

Print Cime di rapa pasta

A quick vegetarian pasta dish, punchy, unctuous and bursting with nutritious greens. You can substitute cime di rapa (turnip tops) with any of the other greens that you get in your box: spinach, chard, kale and spring greens all work a treat. This is an iconic Italian dish that’s usually made with orecchiette (‘little ears’) pasta, but – as long as there are no Italians to dinner – you can use whatever kind you have in the cupboard.


  • 250g cime di rapa
  • 200g pasta of your choice
  • Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Pinch dried chilli flakes
  • Dash of cream
  • 1 lemon
  • Parmesan, grated, to serve
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Wash the cime di rapa well, slice the lower part of the stalks into 2-3 cm pieces, keep the leafy tops whole. Drop the pasta into the water.
  2. Gently heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and slowly cook the garlic until fragrant but not burning. Add the stalks and a pinch of dried chilli, cook gently for 2 minutes before adding in the leafy tops, cook for a couple of minutes until dark and wilted. Add a dash of cream and a dash of the pasta cooking water to loosen.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drain the pasta and fold it into the pan of greens. Serve piled into shallow bowls and finish with plenty of grated Parmesan and good olive oil.
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