We recently returned from a week in Puglia and I have been busy making a number of the dishes I enjoyed on our trip including homemade orecchiette. Orecciette are little bowl shaped pasta that are made by hand simply with a mixture of semolina flour and water, particularly around Puglia. Orecchiette pasta is often served with broccoli rabe (cima di rapa), and athough traditionally the greens alone are served with this pasta, I like to make it into a heartier dish by adding crumbled sausage meat. Feel free to choose either mild or spicy sausage depending on which you prefer.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 1 Pound Homemade or Dried Orecchiette
- 1 Pound Broccoli Rabe
- 1 Pound Italian Sausages (Mild or Spicy)
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- Pinch Of Red Pepper Flakes
- Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper To Taste
- 1/3 Cup Good Quality Olive Oil
- Grated Pecorino or Caciocavallo Cheese
- Trim the broccoli rabe by cutting off any tough stems, and chop into 1 inch pieces.
- Peel the skin off the tougher pieces and cut these into 1 inch pieces as well.
- Remove the sausage meat from the casings, and in a small saucepan, heat the oil and cook the sausage until it is no longer pink.
- Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.
- Set Aside.
- Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta.
- Cook as per package instructions until the last 4-5 minutes of cooking.
- Add the broccoli rabe to the pasta pot and cook until tender.
- Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving a small cup of pasta water.
- Return the pasta mixture to the pot and mix well with the sausage oil mixture, adding a little pasta water as needed to keep it moist.
- Serve piping hot offering grated cheese at the table.