ORRECHIETTE WITH SAUSAGE & BROCCOLINI
- 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 3 Hot Italian Sausages, removed from casings and broken into 1” pieces
- 1 pound Broccolini or Broccoli Rabe florets and stems cut into 1” pieces (4 cups)
- ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, total
- ¼ Cup White Wine
- 1 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
- 250 Grams Orrechiette 1/2 pound
- Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a pasta pot with 1 ½ TBSP of Salt. Cook orrechiette according to directions until al dente, 12-15 minutes.
- In a large saute pan, brown the sausage in 1 TBSP oil over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. If very lean, you may need to add another TBSP of oil. Remove from the pan.
- In the same pan, add 1-2 TBSP oil (depending on how much remained from sausage), reduce heat to medium and add the red pepper flakes and garlic and give a quick stir, being sure not to let the garlic brown. Add the broccolini and stir fry to coat in the oil.
- Increase heat to medium high and add the wine, give a quick stir to deglaze, scraping up the bits and cover. Allow to steam for 1 minute and remove from heat. It should be bright green but still crunchy.
- Return sausage to the pan. When the pasta is ready, bring heat to medium.
- Drain the pasta and add to the sausage and broccolini, along with 1-2 TBSP pasta water. Add the cheese , ¼ tsp black pepper and stir together until well blended and the cheese has melted.
- Serve immediately with a fresh grating of cheese and drizzle of olive oil.
- This works equally as well with pork, chicken or turkey sausage.
- You may need to brown the chicken or turkey sausage with a bit more oil if it is super lean.
- Substitute Mild Italian Sausage if you prefer less spice.
- You can use regular broccoli, but broccolini or broccoli rabe provide a bit more texture and a stronger flavor that really stands up to the sausage and cheese.
- Orecchiette should be available at most major supermarket chains. I personally like a brand called Rusticella d’Abbruzzo which can be found at Whole Foods, Plum Market and other shops that carry more artisanal ingredients. DeCecco and Barilla are brands that are widely available.