Italiano

Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Here is our take on a classic pasta dish that we have had at restaurants and catered parties

Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Orecchiette in Italian literally means “little ears” due to the button shape of the pasta

Of course you can substitute the pasta of your choice but I have to tell you, the orecchiette act like little bowls that hold the delicious sauce that you get with this dish

Now, I’m going to let you in on a little secret as far as the broccoli rabe goes

Guess what?

It doesn’t have to be bitter

My friend Melissa asked a local chef what he did to make his broccoli rabe so good and he was gracious enough to share his method with her

She shared it with me and I’m sharing it with you

See how much fun sharing can be

We are starting off with 1 bunch of broccoli rabe that I’m going to rinse off in water to remove any excess dirt

After they have been cleaned we are going to cut the ends off and discard

Fill a large pot with 8 cups of water

Next, we will need 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt

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Add the salt and lemon juice to the water

Bring it to a boil and add in the broccoli rabe

Blanch this for 2-3 minutes then immediately remove to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process

Once cooled, chop and set aside

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Next we will need 8 hot Italian sausages (you can use sweet), 1 onion, 5 garlic cloves, 3 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt, ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes

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Cook 1 pound of Orecchiette pasta according to the packages directions, drain (reserving 1 cup of the liquid) and set aside

Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat

Add in the crushed red pepper and bay leaves

Cook for around 2 minutes to release some aromatics

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Peel and chop the onion and garlic

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Add to the pan and and sprinkle with the salt and pepper

Cook 5-6 minutes or until they are starting to brown and are lightly translucent

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Remove the sausage from its casings and add into the pan

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Cook around 6-8 minutes breaking the sausage into smaller pieces until nice and browned

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Stir in the broccoli

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Now for the sauce

We will need 1 cup of dry white wine (like a chardonnay), 1 cup of chicken stock, 1 cup of pasta water and 1/2 cup of heavy cream

Click on the link below to make your own chicken stock

Homemade Chicken Stock

Now you might be asking yourself about the pasta water

When the pasta cooks it releases so much starch into the water that this becomes a great natural thickener for our sauce

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Add the wine to the sausage and broccoli and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol

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Next add in the chicken stock, pasta water and heavy cream

I also add in 1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese (you can use parmesan)

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Give everybody a stir, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld

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The sauce will thicken slightly

Remove and discard the 3 bay leaves

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Chop about a 1/2 cup of fresh parsley

Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat

Cook another 2-3 minutes to reheat the pasta and thicken the sauce a bit more

Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the fresh parsley

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We served this with additional crushed red pepper and grated cheese!

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Enjoy!!!

Simply Sundays! ~ Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: Prep 15 Min, Cook 35 Min
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients

1 bunch of broccoli rabe

1 lemon

1 tablespoon of kosher salt

8 cups of water

8 hot Italian sausages

1 onion

5 garlic cloves

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon each of kosher salt, ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes

1 cup of dry white wine (like a chardonnay)

1 cup of chicken stock

1 cup of reserved pasta water

1/2 cup of heavy cream

1/2 cup of grated cheese

1 half cup of fresh chopped parsley

1 pound of pasta cooked and drained

Directions

Clean and rinse 1 bunch of broccoli rabe.  Cut the ends off.  Add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to 8 cups of water.  Bring the water to a boil.  Blanch the broccoli rabe for 2-3 minutes then remove to an ice water bath immediately.  Once cool, chop and set aside

Cook 1 pound of orecchiette (or your favorite pasta) according to the package directions. Drain (reserving 1 cup of the liquid) and set aside

Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add in 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and 3 bay leaves.  Cook for around 2 minutes to release some aromatics

Peel and chop 1 onion and 5 garlic cloves.  Add to the pan and and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes or until they are starting to brown and are lightly translucent

Remove 8 hot Italian sausages from their casings and add to the pan.  Cook around 6-8 minutes breaking the sausage into smaller pieces until nice and browned.  Stir in the broccoli rabe

Add 1 cup of dry white wine (like a chardonnay) to the sausage and broccoli and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes to cook off some of the alcohol.  Next add in 1 cup of chicken stock, 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese.  Give everybody a stir, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Remove and discard the 3 bay leaves

Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat.  Cook another 2-3 minutes to reheat the pasta and thicken the sauce a bit more.  Remove from the heat and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley.  Serve with additional crushed red pepper and grated cheese (optional)

Tools used to make this recipe

Simply Bamboo Cutting Board

Architec Gripperwood Cutting Board

Lodge Cast Iron Pan

New Star Foodservice Lemon Squeezer

OXO Good Grips Fish Turner

© Simply Sundays 2017
All rights reserved

3 comments on “Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

  1. Very good. Grocery store didn’t have broccoli rabe so I made it with spinach and arugula. Full disclosure: I was going to make it with spinach for the rest of the family, I love broccoli rabe but no one else does! The men of my family LOVED this. Has a distinct flavor due to greens/dairy/sausage that is different and tasty from what I usually make. Recommended!

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:
    jinxx🔥xoxo

    Like

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