Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe is the perfect trio. 

This dish comes together very easily. It has a great balance of carbs, protein and vegetables. Orecchiette in Italian means "small ears", which is what the pasta shape resembles.

Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

(Orecchiette con Salsiccia e Rapini)

Makes 4 servings


1 pound orecchiette pasta
1 pound sweet Italian-style sausage, casings removed
2 bunches broccoli rabe, stems removed 
2 garlic cloves minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup grated Parmesan the pasta

Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe (ph Boston Food Journal)


Making the Broccoli Rabe:
Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water to cool.

Making the Pasta:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

Making the Sausage and Assembling:
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.

Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces, cook until browned, about 12 minutes.

Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Strain the broccoli rabe and add it to the pan with the sausage mixture and toss to coat with the juices.

Add the pasta to the skillet, adding some of the reserved pasta water to help keep it moist.

Stir in the Parmesan and serve immediately.