If you’ve never tried Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, you need to add this easy pasta recipe to your collection. Like, yesterday.
Combining a variety of distinctive flavors, this dish comes together beautifully. No wonder this super regional dish from the southeast corner of Italy has spread so far!
The next time you’re craving pasta, this is the dish to try…
Today’s Orecchiette recipe is a very traditional dish from the Italian region of Puglia, which forms the heel of Italy’s boot.
It’s light and simple, yet utterly satisfying.
Why We Love Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
- It’s an easy meal that doesn’t take a lot of effort, or make much of a mess in your kitchen.
- The recipe is very easy to double if you’re feeding a big crowd.
- It stores well, so is a great option for meal prep.
- Because we’re using chicken Italian sausage, it’s light and healthy.
- It tastes absolutely amazing!
What is Broccoli Rabe?
Not to be confused with regular broccoli, broccoli rabe is a green leafy vegetable that has small buds that resemble broccoli. It is also known as rapini, and is popular in Mediterranean cuisine.
It is known for a slight bitterness, similar to mustard greens. Because of this, some people prefer to substitute regular broccoli in this recipe.
However, as we are slightly blanching our rapini, it retains only a little of the original bitterness, which really pairs beautifully with the other ingredients.
- Orecchiette – A small ear-shaped pasta common in the Puglia region.
- Broccoli rabe
- Italian sausage – We love it with chicken sausage, but feel free to use pork Italian sausage.
- Olive oil – A pasta staple.
- Garlic – Goes great with the other ingredients.
- Crushed red pepper – Omit, or taste and adjust, if using hot Italian sausage.
- Parmesan cheese – Freshly shredded.
- Salt and pepper – To taste.
Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Recipe
Blanch the broccoli rabe: Cut off the bottom 2 inches of the stems, and tear the remaining broccoli rabe into smaller pieces, then blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove it from the water with a slotted spoon.
Cook pasta: Salt the remaining water and bring it back to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
Prepare the sausage: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage, break it up with a large spoon, and cook till it is fully browned. Add garlic and red chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Complete the dish: Add broccoli rabe, reserved pasta water, parmesan, salt and pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes. Stir in pasta till everything is well combined.
Serve immediately, garnishing with more fresh parmesan.
What to Serve with Orecchiette Pasta
With pasta, protein and veggie power, it’s a complete meal on its own.
Leftovers and Storage
This orecchiette pasta is great as leftovers for the next few days. Simply double up the recipe, it’s a great meal prep idea.
Store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave or on stovetop, with a splash of water or olive oil if it has dried out.
Give this authentic southern Italian recipe a try in your own kitchen. It seems so simple, but trust us, the flavor combination is a big winner!
Save or pin this great recipe, so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!
Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 8oz orecchiette pasta
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound chicken Italian sausage, casings removed (see note 1)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut off the bottom 2 inches of the broccoli rabe stems and discard. Tear the remaining broccoli rabe into smaller pieces, then blanch in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove it from the water with a slotted spoon.
- Salt the remaining water and bring it back to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage, break it up with a large spoon, and cook till it is fully browned.
- Add garlic and red chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add broccoli rabe, reserved pasta water, parmesan, salt and pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in pasta till everything is well combined.
- Serve immediately.
- You can also use turkey or pork Italian sausage.
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