Orecchiette withBroccoli

Rabe and Sausage

Orecchiette,”little ears” in Italian, are small disc- or ear-shaped semolinapastas once made only at home. 
If you can’t find this shape, any ridged or tubular small pasta will hold thissauce just fine.

The bitter rabe isnicely balanced by the intensity of the hot and sweet sausage to produce a veryappetizing combination of flavors.


¼ cupFlavored Olive Oil (see below)

4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 pound Italian sausage, a combination of
  hot and sweet according to yourtaste, cut

  into bite-size pieces 

1 pound broccoli rabe, cooked (see below)
1 cup broccoli rabe water (see below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound orecchiette
Freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Heat oil and stir in garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sausages and sauté until meat is cooked and loses its raw look.

2. Add cooked broccoli rabe to sausage. Add rabe water, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Raise heat and cook until sauce is hot.

4. Meanwhile, cook orecchiette in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente.

5. Drain orecchiette. Return drained orecchiette to the pot. Place over medium-high heat and stir in ¾ cup of broccoli rabe and sausage sauce. Using a wooden spoon, toss together for I minute. Remove from heat and pour into a large serving platter or bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese.


flavoredOlive Oil

Makes1 cup


1 cup fine-qualityolive oil (such as              
  Filippo Berio)
4 garlic cloves, peeled andcrushed

Heat oil in a small,heavy saucepan on medium-low heat.  Addgarlic and barely simmer until garlic is just beginning to brown. Remove and discard garlic.  Pouroil into a clean container and reserve, at room temperature, to use as flavoredoil for frying and sautéing.


Rao’s FourBasic Vegetables  include

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli di Rape


2 large bunches broccoli rabe

1. Remove any tough outer or damaged leaves. Cut off the stems and tear the leaves into large pieces (about 3 to 4inches).  Wash in a sink filled with cold water.  Shake off excess water.

2. Place broccoli rabe in a deep saucepan with cold water to cover by about2 inches.  Bring just to a simmerover high heat.  As soon as bubblesappear at the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat.

3. Drain cooking water.  (Reserveit if you are going to combine the broccoli rabe with pasta or are going toprepare a Rao’s recipe requiring broccoli rabe water.)

4. Immediately place broccoli rabe in cold water to cover to stop thecooking process.  When broccoli rabeis cool, drain well in a colander and pat dry.

5. Cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate until ready to sauté or add topasta or sauces.


(Just in case you arecurious and have not had a chance to get your own copy of this cookbook yet, theother three basic vegetables are Savoy Cabbage, Escarole and Broccoli. The book also includes a luscious looking platter of Asparagus withParmigiano-Reggiano Cheese as well as recipes for some other mouth-wateringvegetables.).

You can find this and related recipes by tapping here on the Home Cookin’ index.


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