This Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Rabe is perfect for picnics and casual buffet lunches.
This dish has just a few ingredients and is perfect for summer barbecues or to take along to a get-together. Some years ago I recall going to a potluck brunch and tasting this Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. It was delicious and I immediately asked who made the dish! One of the women in attendance said she prepared the dish and that she found the recipe in Giada De Laurentiis new cookbook, Everyday Italian. As soon as I left the party I went straight to Barnes & Nobles and I got myself a copy of her book. I have been making it ever since.
It’s a perfect dish for entertaining because it’s great when served hot and just as delicious at room temperature.
Cook’s notes: When making this Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Rabe I recommend cutting the broccoli stalks lengthwise into one inches pieces. Cut the larger stalks into halves or quarters to keep them delicate.
Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil and the freshest Parmigiano Reggianoano cheese you can find. I shave mine over the top of the hot pasta so that it melts just a bit. For those of you who wish to skip the pork, you can substitute spicy turkey sausage.
I hope you enjoy this Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Rabe recipe and that your guests love it! Happy Summer!!
- 2 cups of broccoli rabe, approximately one big bunch, stalks trimmed and quartered crosswise 2 inches piece size
- 13 ounces or (376g) dried orecchiette pasta or other small shaped pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound spicy pork sausage, casings removed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of dried crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until crip-tender, about 1 minute. Strain the broccoli rabe with a slotted spoon or spatula, reserving all the cooking liquid. Place the broccoli rabe inside a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside. Cook the orecchiette in the same pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until the sausage is brown and juices form, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the broccoli rabe from the cold water, add to the skillet and toss to coat. Add the pasta and enough reserved cooking liquid, about ¼ cup and stir to moisten. Stir the Parmesan cheese, salt to taste, and pepper into the pasta mixture. Transfer to pasta bowls and serve. Enjoy!
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