Sicilian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe like “Cavuliceddi”

Sicilian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe like “Cavuliceddi”

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe like “Cavuliceddi” tonight?

In Naples they are called friarielli; in Tuscany, they are names, rapini. The destiny of this delicious vegetable is to be fried hence the name of friarielli, in fact, the Neapolitans wash the vegetables and throw them directly in the pan with the oil.

In Alcamo (my town) “cavuliceddi” is used as a side dish for sausage cooked in a pan with oil, or roasted, but they can also be eaten alone or with pasta. They are a vegetable that grows spontaneously especially in the winter or early spring. I remember as a child, one gentleman who went to pick them up early in the morning and sell them on the street. My mother looked out the window and lowered the basket attached to a rope and the gentleman filled it for a few pennies.

Sicilian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe like “Cavuliceddi”

In the absence of cavuliceddi, excellent substitutes for preparing this side dish with equally excellent results are broccoli rabe.

I prepared them not with the Neapolitan recipe, but as if they were cavuliceddi.

 The broccoli rabe must have thin and firm stems with closed inflorescences of dark green color. The edible parts are precisely the florets which must be very tender and to have present small green flowers.

Sicilian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe like “Cavuliceddi”

It is important to clean them carefully. First, the hard parts of the stem and the large leaves must be removed, then the soft florets must be selected which must be well washed under running water until any soil residue has been completely washed off.

I made them blanch and then they were fried as my mother taught me for I cavuliceddi, with garlic, anchovies, and black olives ( you can add also a little dried tomato).

Sicilian-Style Garlicky Broccoli Rabe like “Cavuliceddi”

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: cavolicelli, cavuliceddi, friarielli, rapini, sicilian dish
Servings: 4


  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 6 anchovy fillets coarsely chopped
  • 6-8 kalamata olives
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 -2 chopped dried tomatoes optional


  • Thoroughly wash the broccoli rabe under running water after removing the hard part.
  • Bring a pot full of salted water to a boil.
  • pour the broccoli and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, remove the broccoli from the water and let them dry.
  • Cover a large pan with olive oil.
  • Add the garlic, pepper, and anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped.
  • Bring over medium heat, don’t let the garlic burn and it doesn’t even have to turn brown.
  • Pour the broccoli rabe so that they mix with the oil, cook over high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour the olives and if you want the dried tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • They are ready as a side dish to your sausage or alone.


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