Sunday Pasta®: Orecchiette con Rapini e Salciccia (Broccoli Rabe and Sausage)

Sunday Pasta Orecchiette con Rapini e Salciccia 640

She’s on the endangered species list. Maybe only a few hundred thousand left. Average age is around 75, probably lost her mate, generally in a black coat, prominent proboscis, with a few errant whiskers.  At a mature age, her arms match the strength and diameter of a caveman.  By day, she gathers and prepares food for her young.  A social animal, she spends hours interacting with her kind. Her lair is as clean as it gets because dirt and disorder are her natural enemies.

A dying breed, yet she’s about the only one left on earth that can make orecchiette by hand. That mythical, loving, Southern Italian grandmother, almost extinct, is among the few and the proud with the skill and patience necessary to churn out hundreds of quarter sized orecchiette before mealtime. A real attraction, if you’re lucky she’ll come out of her den to shape them while sitting in front of her house. Just don’t touch, or you’ll get a rolling pin across the head before you know what hits you.

Give today to “Save the Nonna” today. The world’s culinary pleasure depends on it.

Buon Appetito!

Ed Garrubbo

p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this recipe.

Sunday Pasta® Recipe: Orecchiette con Rapini e Salciccia (Broccoli Rabe and Sausage)

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6


1 pound orecchiette
1 pound broccoli rabe
1 pound Italian sausage
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small chili pepper, chopped
Pecorino Romano, grated


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash the broccoli rabe, removing the tough stems and large leaves. Cook the broccoli rabe in the boiling water for a few minutes, making sure not to overcook. Remove the broccoli rabe from the pot, but leave the water in the pot for cooking the pasta.

Chop the broccoli rabe into small pieces and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, and add the chili pepper and garlic. When golden, crumble the sausage into the skillet. When resolved, add the broccoli rabe and salt to taste.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain it, and add to the sausage and broccoli rabe.

Serve immediately with sprinkle of Pecorino.


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