Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Broccoli Rabe with Sausage and Orrechiette



These "little ears" don't do any listening at all . . . they just sit quietly and lap up all the spice of the sausage and the gentle bite of the broccoli rabe in this dish.  The way that Italians named pasta is so intriguing, isn't it?  Orecchiettte is such a pretty sounding word.  (One of these days, I'm going to buy Rosetta Stone and learn Italian; I'll have to if I'm ever going to get there.)

Even though the word means "little ears," to me they kind of look like the helmets American  soldiers wore in World War I.  (I have World War I on the brain, because I'm getting ready to teach "All Quiet on the Western Front" to high school sophomores.  Did I hear you say, "Good luck with that."?)

Whatever they're called, or whatever they look like, they are the perfect vehicle for this cargo of sausage and greens.  A shake of crushed red pepper, a bit of Parmesan cheese and dinner's ready.   Whenever I find this pasta, I sock it away in the pantry.  And whenever I find broccoli rabe (sometimes called rapini) at the market, I buy it -- and I make this.  Fresh and fast for a weeknight meal.

There are a lot of ways to prepare this dish, which is pretty traditional.  I prefer to dunk the rabe in a pot of boiling salted water and then shocking it in ice water.  A bit of hassle that's worth it.  (Thanks for teaching me that, Lynn.)

Make this orecchiette and listen for the kudos


Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons salt
2 bunches broccoli rabe (about 1 pound)
8 ounces orrecchiette
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
crushed red pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the broccoli rabe.  Cook the greens briefly, just a minute or two.  Remove with tongs to a large container filled with ice water. Swish around for a minute or two and remove to a colander.  Chop into about two inch pieces.

Bring the same water to a oil and add the pasta.  Cook for about 8 minutes and drain, but reserve some of the pasta water.

Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat, breaking it up as you go.  Reduce the heat and add the broccoli rabe and saute together for a minute.  Add the pasta and combine.  Add pasta water, if needed.  Stir in the cheese, sprinkle with the pepper and serve.



28 comments:

  1. Funny while I was reading blogs and dreaming of Italy I was feeling I needed to get Rosetta Stone to learn at least a little rudimentary Italian myself. As for the pasta well it is healthy, delicious and makes me smile.

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  2. Much prayer and wishes on teaching your class.

    They do look like little helmets. The dish look scrumptious and simple! I am all about simple.

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    1. Thanks for the wishes. They're good kids, just teenagers whose mouths are bigger than their ears.

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  3. I call them 'little ears' too. Find them really cute. Looks delish with broccoli rabe.

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    1. I like the way they hold the goodies, too.

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  4. Rosemary - that combination is in my top ten of the best flavorful combinations ever invented. Just want to extract it from the monitor.

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    1. Mine, too, Claudia. And I never even ate broccoli rabe until a couple years ago -- sausage, for sure.

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  5. This dish looks delicious and healthy. No need for a sauce because it's already packed with good flavor. I went to Italy with my daughter and although many speak English it would have been nice to have been able to speak Italian. They say Rosetta Stone is a wonderful program with guaranteed results. Pricy but well worth it when you need it.

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    1. I have seen recipes that sauce this combination up more, but you're right, Vicki -- the well- seasoned sausage and the bit of cheese provide more than enough flavor,

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  6. This IS a wonderfully light pasta dish that packs such a nice punch of flavour! I'm not eating a lot pf pasta these days, but this is one dish that would meet the need on occasion! Thanks Rosemary!

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    1. The veggies outnumber the pasta, so it's a good way to have your carbs and love the dish, too.

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  7. You're right about the helmets. They do look more like helmets than ears... LOL

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    1. Maybe we could call them "little hats."

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  8. I love everything in your pasta, especially the sausage;-) I'm making this for dinner and looking forward to every bite!

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    1. If it were up to Mr. Rosemary, we'd eat sausage every night. I'd love to, too, but someone has to be the moderation watch dog! Hope you like it, Patty. (But I'm sure you will.)

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  9. Nothing to do with the recipe, but I'm so glad you finally added an email subscribe feature over there in your sidebar! Thank you! Good luck with your teaching project - I have such respect for anybody who works with children.

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    1. Do 16 and 17 year olds count as children? (I guess.)

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  10. A perfect family dish - full of satisfying flavor - LOVE this!
    mary x

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    1. It's a great weeknight meal, too -- veggie, protein, carb, all in one.

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  11. Wow! I think this would make a great Sunday night dinner. Thank you for sharing with me. As I sit down with a bowl of cereal (pretzels in the oven), I'm glad I visited!

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    1. I'm sure your pretzels will be great, Monet. (I know you love your cereal.)

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  12. This looks so yummy! I would be SO happy with a plateful of this, as I sit watching TV on any given weeknight.. Thanks for this recipe!

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    1. Glad you like the idea. I'm ready for another one now.

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  13. What a beautiful meal; love Orrechiette and really know this combination must be heavenly.
    Rita

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    1. I always think I'm lucky whenever I find it at a local store!

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  14. You may not speak italian, but you've got a winner with this dish.

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    1. I sure wish I could go on that Italy trip you're organizing -- cooking, eating, writing!

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I realize you don't have to take the time to comment . . . but it makes my day! So glad you decided to stay.