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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 RealSimple.com 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!


Ingredients:

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)


Directions:

  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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