This recipe will easily serve 8 people with leftovers.
1.25 lbs. sweet Italian sausage (about 5 links)
1.25 lbs. hot Italian sausage (about 5 links)
2 bunches (approx. 2lbs.) broccoli rabe
½ cup + 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
12 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely
½ cup of dry white wine
2 lbs. of orecchiette pasta
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Locatelli Romano cheese
1. Bring a large (8 quart with a removable strainer) pot of water to boil for blanching the broccoli rabe, as well as for cooking the orecchiette.
2. Remove sausage meat from its casings and discard the casings.
3. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy frying pan on medium heat.
4. Add sausage meat to the hot oil, continuously breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until it loses its pink color and is lightly browned-about 20 minutes. When sausage meat is cooked remove it to a bowl.
5. While the sausage is browning, rinse the broccoli rabe and discard the thick stems, cutting about 3 inches off the bottom. Then blanch the broccoli rabe in the boiling water for about 60 seconds.
6. Remove the broccoli rabe, strain it and plunge it immediately into a bowl filled with ice and cold water to retain its dark green color. Reserve the blanching water for cooking the orecchiette, but remove about 4 cups to thin out the sauce later, if needed.
7. When broccoli rabe is cool, chop it into pieces about 1 to1.25 inches in length.
8. After removing the cooked sausage meat from the frying pan, add the ½ cup of olive oil to the pan, then add the chopped garlic and quickly sauté it on high heat. As the garlic begins to brown on the edges, add the hot pepper, then the broccoli rabe and sauté it for about 3 to 5 minutes so it does not lose it dark green color. Remove it from the pan and set it aside with the sausage meat.
9. Bring the blanching water to a boil once again, add the orecchiette and cook according to the directions on the package.
10. In the meantime, turn the heat under the empty frying pan to high, add the ½ cup of dry white wine stirring up the solids on the bottom of the pan.
11. Add back the cooked sausage and broccoli rabe to the pan mixing them together with the wine and solids; add some of the retained blanching water to thin out the sauce according to your preference. (I usually add about 2 cups.)
12. When the orecchiette is al dente, drain it and mix it well with the sauce, adding more blanching water if necessary.
13. Serve orecchiette, broccoli rabe and sausage in pasta bowls and sprinkle liberally with freshly ground black pepper and the grated cheese.
See Related Article at: Eat It! It’s Good for You