Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe, Sausage, & Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

This is a tasty variation on Orecchiette con Cima di Rape, a traditional Italian favorite fro Puglia. Orecchiette, meaning “little ears” in Italian, partners well with pleasantly bitter greens in the traditional recipe in which dried chili flakes are added. This recipe also includes sausage and sun-dried tomato pesto, creating an even heartier dish with very bold flavors.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe, Sausage, & Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe, Sausage, & Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

A vibrant flavored hearty dish from Puglia.


  • 1 Pound Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 Pound Spicy Italian Sausages, From Casings
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe, Cleaned And Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
  • 1/3 Cup Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Choice Of Cheese To Serve:

  • Freshly Grated Parmesan, Romano, or Salted Ricotta Are Good Choices

Pesto Ingredients:

  • 2 Ounces Sun-dried Tomatoes Packed In Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley


  1. To make the pesto, add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet, add the sausage meat and cook thoroughly.
  3. Cook the orecchiette in salted boiling water, adding the broccoli rabe to the pasta pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain the pasta and broccoli rabe, retaining a small cup of the pasta water.
  5. Add the drained pasta and broccoli rabe combination to the skillet with the pesto.
  6. Mix well over high heat for a minute or two until piping hot.
  7. If the mixture seems at all dry, add a little of the pasta water to moisten.
  8. Serve offering your choice of cheese.

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