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Sausage-Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette

I can't tell you how often I crave this dish. The last time I made it, I got home from work around 8pm and was sitting down to dinner by 8:45 if that gives you any indication how easy it is to prep and cook. I was originally inspired to make this by a restaurant Matt and I visited in San Francisco at the Sir Francis Drake hotel. I found a recipe for it on which I used for inspiration, but I made several modifications, and much prefer this version, which tastes almost as good as the one we had on that San Francisco date. Oh, and it's fantastic as leftovers!


12oz orecchiette pasta 1 TBS olive oil 1 LB Package Hot Italian Sausage (or 6 links) (can use Hot Turkey Sausage) 2-3 Cloves Garlic, Pressed 1 cup Chicken Broth or Stock 1/4-1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper 1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe (Rapini), chopped

2 TBS Butter 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (it's worth getting the good stuff in the deli section) 1/2 Lemon (optional)


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions

  2. Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat

  3. Remove casings from each sausage link (easy to do by running a knife down them and peeling away) and toss the sausage into pan as you finish each one (discard casings)

  4. Cook sausage in oil, breaking it up with a cooking spoon until it's no longer pink (about 5-6 mins)

  5. Press the garlic right into the pan, & cook (stirring) 1 min

  6. Add the broth & red pepper, stir and bring to a boil

  7. Add the broccoli rabe & simmer covered, stirring occasionally, to make sure the greens get wilted (3-4 mins)

  8. When the broccoli rabe is fully wilted/cooked, add the butter & cheese & give it a stir until butter is melted.

  9. Add drained pasta to to pan & toss to coat

  10. Optional step! Squeeze a half a lemon over the whole pan as a finishing touch (don't need to toss after that)

  11. Serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry you are). I like to sprinkle with a bit of grated parm at the end before serving.

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