“Broccoli Rabe,” also known as rapini and cime di Rapa, has a pleasantly bitter flavor that is an appealing contrast to the sweet pork sausage. As you toss, both ingredients become trapped in the hollows of the ear-shaped pasta, (Orecchiette) making every bite wonderfully flavorful. Prepare this dish in cool-weather months, when “Broccoli Rabe” is in season. Delizioso!!!
2 lbs Broccoli Rabe
1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage
5 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
Salt to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
Orecchiette, for 6 servings
Cook the Orecchiette pasta
Cut off and discard the lower part of the Broccoli Rabe stems, leaving the broccoli about 8 inches long. Remove the large tough leaves, leaving just tender leaves and flower buds. Peel the thick, lower part of the stems by lifting strips from the stem end with a paring knife or vegetable peeler and drawing them up toward the bud area. A perfect peel is not necessary, but removing the peel does remove bitterness. Cut the stems into 1 1/2 to 2-inch lengths. Wash the broccoli thoroughly and dry it well.
Remove the casing from the sausage and crumble it. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage meat and cook until the sausage is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and continue to sauté until the sausage is lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil.
Cook the Orecchiette. Drain them well and return them to the pan over low heat. Add the broccoli rabe sauce and toss gently to blend. Taste carefully for seasoning, and remove from heat. Add half of the grated cheese and toss to blend. Transfer to a serving platter or a bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the grated cheese. Serve immediately.
©©©© White Wine: Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc are your perfect pairs for “Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe”
(This recipe was adapted from Lidia Bastianich)
Till Next Time……………
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