Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Sundried Tomatoes

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Sundried Tomatoes (Serves 8) 

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Sundried Tomatoes is a delicious and flavorful pasta dish.  I use orecchiette pasta for this recipe. Orecchiette originated in the Puglia region of Italy and actually means “small ear” in Italian.  Its shape makes it one of the best sauce catching pasta shapes, because it really captures the sauce perfectly.  


1 tbsp., plus ¾ Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 lb. Cheese and Parsley Sausage (about 5 links), Casing removed

6 Garlic Cloves- Cut in Half

¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1 ½  lbs. Broccoli Rabe

3/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes – Oil Drained & Chopped

½ Cup White Wine (I Use Pinot Grigio)

1 tsp. Salt

1 ½ lbs. Orecchiette 


Boil a pot of salted water.  Trim 1 inch off each broccoli rabe stem.  Boil the broccoli rabe for about 8 minutes and drain.  Once cooled chop into 1 inch pieces and set aside,

In a large fry pan heat up 1 tbsp. of olive oil on medium heat and add the sausage.  Use the side of a wooden spoon and break up the sausage while it cooks.  Brown the sausage making sure there is no pink and remove it from the pan. Return the pan to the stove and reduce hte flame to low heat. Add in 3⁄4 cup olive oil, the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook until the garlic is cooked through. Then mash it with a fork into the olive oil.   Raise the temperature to low/medium and add in the broccoli rabe. Combine it with the garlic and oil and cook for about 2 minutes. Next add in the wine.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape off the bits from the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add in the sun dried tomatoes and season with salt.  Cook for about 2 minutes and add back the sausage.  Combine well and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. 

In the meantime, boil your pasta water and add salt. Reserve some pasta water to add to the sauce. Drain the sauce and add the pasta to the sauce. Add in a little pasta water as needed to give the sauce a little more juice and serve. I like to top with grated pecorino and a drizzle of EVOO.

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