Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Lori Heddinger


There is a restaurant in the West Village that serves this and I order it every time I go. I finally decided to make it myself, and after a couple of attempts and tweaks, I've got it down.

★★★★★ 2 votes
30 Min
30 Min


1/4 c
olive oil
garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 lb
sweet italian sausage, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lb
broccoli rabe, cooked
1 c
broccoli rabe water
1 lb
orecchiette pasta
1 pt
grape or small cherry tomatoes
1/2 pt
toasted pine nuts
1 Tbsp
dried red pepper flakes
freshly-grated pecorino romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste


1Remove any tough outer or damaged leaves of the broccoli rabe. Cut off the stems and tear the leaves into large pieces (about 3 to 4 inches). Wash in a sink filled with cold water. Shake off excess water.
2Place broccoli rabe in a deep saucepan with cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring just to a simmer over high heat. As soon as bubbles appear at the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat.
3Remove 1 cup of cooking water and set aside. Drain the rest.
4Heat oil and stir in garlic in a large saute pan over medium heat (don't burn the garlic!). Add the sausages and saute until meat is cooked and loses its raw look.
5Salt and pepper to taste, and saute one minute.
6Add the rabe water, grape tomatoes and red pepper flakes.
7Raise heat and cook until sauce is hot. Once hot, reduce to medium.
8Meanwhile, cook orecchiette in rapidly boiling water until al dente.
9Drain orecchiette and add to the broccoli rabe and sausage sauce and toss with a wooden spoon.
10Remove from heat, add pine nuts and pour into a large serving platter or bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta, Pork
Regional Style: Italian