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Rapini and Sausage Orcchiette recipe

Rapini and Sausage Orcchiette recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Sausage pasta

Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, is combined with orecchiette pasta, spicy Italian sausage and good olive oil in this rustic dish.

12 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 450g orecchiette pasta
  • 2 bunches rapini, trimmed and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 650g spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 75g sliced black olives

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Fill a large pan with lightly salted water and bring to the boil over high heat. Stir in the orcchiette and return to the boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain well.
  2. At the same time, bring another large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Stir in the rapini, and cook uncovered until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, and return to the pan along with the orcchiette pasta.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sausage, and cook until firm turning frequently, about 5 minutes. Cut the sausage into 1-2cm pieces, and sprinkle with the minced garlic, salt, onion salt, garlic granules and black pepper. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink in the centre, and beginning to brown on the cut sides, about 5 minutes more. Once done, stir the sausage mixture into the pasta along with the sliced black olives to serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(20)

Reviews in English (17)


This is a great recipe. Very close to one I got when stationed in Italy. The main differences are the sausage wasn't used and after blanching the broccoli was sauted with the spices. The Italian lady who taught me to make it used the same pot and water for boiling the pasta and blanching the broccoli. Just blanch the broccoli first, scoop it out and cook the pasta. She said it didn't add anything to the pasta but saved water and using two pots. It has been the most requested recipe by my children when they leave home.-30 Nov 2009

by Karen McIntyre Farrell

Used Curelom's recommendation to cook the broccoli rabe in the same pot as the pasta...less dishes is always good! Next time, I will cook the broccoli rabe for half the time shown because it all fell apart when mixed together. Regardless - it was delicious and easy! (skipped the olives because we don't like them)-22 Mar 2011

by Rachel

This is delicious! I made it vegetarian by using veggie sausage, and used collards because that was all we had. Everyone at the table had multiple helpings, my five year-old included! I will definitely make this again.-10 Mar 2011


I absolutely love Giada De Laurentiis’ cookbooks. She has such fun and creative recipes that never seem to disappoint. I recently decided to try one her sauceless pastas – her famous orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe. I know it sounds strange to promote a sauceless pasta, but this recipe has the right amount of flavor it doesn’t need a sauce.

First, boil the broccoli rabe in a pot of boiling water with a touch of salt. Leave it in the pot for about one minute and then transfer the broccoli to a separate bowl. Next, add the orecchiette pasta to the boiling water. While that is cooking saute the sausage in a pan with olive oil after removing the casings and breaking it up into pieces. Giada’s recipe calls for Italian sausage, but I usually add one spicy sausage in the mix because I like extra flavor.

The sausage takes about 12 to 20 minutes to brown. Watch it closely, and when it is almost ready (about 3 – 4 minutes before browned) add garlic and red pepper flakes. It’s a personal preference as to how much you add – I love garlic and like things a bit spicier so I add more than the recipe calls for. Meanwhile, when the pasta is al dente, reserve at least a cup of the cooking water. Once the sausage is golden brown, add the broccoli rabe to the pan for about one minute. Then add the orecchiette pasta as well as Parmesan cheese. If there is not enough moisture in the pan sprinkle some of the cooking water in the dish. Once everything is mixed together your sauceless pasta is ready to be served!

2 bunches broccoli rabe, stems trimmed

1 pound orecchiette pasta

A few pinches red pepper flakes

The red pepper flakes sauteed with garlic and the sausage add a great flavor to this dish. And the broccoli rabe, which offers a bitter taste, compliments the spicy flavor. Sprinkle extra Parmesan before serving as well as a touch of fresh ground pepper. This dish will soon become one of you favorite meals to make!

My daughter Karina loves this dish! I usually make a big pot and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator to heat up for lunch or another night. You can use any pasta shape you like, whole wheat, gluten-free or even chickpea pasta would also be great. If you want to skip the pasta, you would love this Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Spiralized Parsnip Noodles!

They key to this dish is finding a great tasting chicken or turkey sausage. I recommend trying a few brands, not all are equal in taste and the lean factor. I have found some great homemade sausages from Italian markets, but also love Premio if you can find it.

    • Salt
    • 2 bunches of broccoli rabe, stalks trimmed and quartered crosswise
    • 12 ounces dried orecchiette pasta or other small shaped pasta, such as farfalle or penne
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 pound spicy pork sausage, casings removed
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Strain the broccoli rabe, reserving all the cooking liquid. Set the broccoli rabe aside. Cook the orecchiette in the same pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until the sausage is brown and juices form, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli rabe and toss to coat. Add the pasta and enough reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Stir the Parmesan cheese, salt to taste, and pepper into the pasta mixture. Transfer to pasta bowls and serve.

    Reprinted with permission from Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes by Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Copyright © 2005 by Giada De Laurentiis. Published by Crown Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved.

    Giada De Laurentiis is the star of Food Network's Everyday Italian and Behind the Bash. She attended the Cordon Bleu in Paris, and then worked in a variety of Los Angeles restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck's Spago, before starting her own catering and private-chef company, GDL Foods. The granddaughter of movie producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada was born in Rome and grew up in Los Angeles, where she now lives.

    Orrechiette Alla Barese, with Wild Mustard Greens

    Orrechiette with rapini, sausage, and anchovy is an Italian classic.

    When I discovered some wild rapini recently, this was the first thing they were destined to be in. If you’re familiar with Italian cuisine, you may have heard of the dish If you’re Italian American you definitely have. Orrechiette alla Barese translates to “little ears in the style of Bari”. It’s a cornerstone of Southern Italian cuisine, which means it’s a cornerstone of Italian American cuisine, and everyone’s Italian grandma has a specific way of preparing it.

    I’ve made orrechiette with broccoli raab a couple different ways in restaurants, but there is one method that will always stand out in my mind: the sauce-less version. Orrechiette and broccoli raab with anchovies in a butter sauce? Sure. Tossed with tomato, garlic and chilli? Thats good too. But, when I started working under a chef from Milan he prepared it differently, and it was only after tasting his version that I finally understood how good it can be.

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    Instead of using wine to deglaze a pan anchovies were cooked in and make a sauce, he sauteed anchovies slowly in oil until they dissolved, then added breadcrumbs, sausage, rapini, and chilli flakes. I became a believer after a single bite. This guy was a typical braggadocious Italian, and I remember him running out to the dining room when this dish would go out, exclaiming to the diners after they had tried a bite: “Isn’t that the best pasta you’ve had in your freaking life!?”

    He was right. This pasta is one of the greatest I have ever had, and the key is in it’s simplicity. There is no sauce to this, no tomato, no butter, nada. At first glance, the orrechiette look like a pile of pasta with breadcrumbs and greens. After one taste though I guarantee you, it will change how you think about the possibilities of dressing pasta.

    Usually with pasta, you want to make sure the dish is juicy and moist by adding pasta cooking liquid, curiously, this pasta actually relies on the absence of moisture, which would ruin it’s texture. The breadcrumbs that catch the oil and lubricate the pasta need to be crisp, any sort of liquid or prolonged resting after cooking will make it steam and destroy the crunchy wonderland that is spicy breadcrumbs cooked with anchovy.

    Wild rapini: wintercress, garlic mustard, and friends

    The bitter broccoli raab here are the young, unopened flower buds of mustard family plants. There’s a lot of different mustards in my area, but some of the two easiest to find are garlic mustard, and wintercress. They’re bitter just like rapini–a little more actually, and the perfect foil for cutting through the rich taste of sausage and anchovy. In America, people are wary of bitter greens, but other cultures have appreciated them for centuries. I talked about the “wild rapini” over in this post here.

    In the end, this is not only a dish important to Italian heritage, but an example of how lowly bitter greens can steal the spotlight for a second. Whether you have access to some wild raabs or just rapini from the grocery store, try this recipe sometime. It’s may seem like an out of the box approach, but it’s rich, savory, and spicy: something for a pasta connoisseur. Cheese is not served with this dish.

    Sausage, crispy bread crumbs, hot chilli, anchovy, tender raabs and little pasta. Its the bomb.

      1. Heat oil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until beginning to color, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
      2. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add broccoli rabe and cook until pasta is just tender, but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes. Drain. Transfer pasta and broccoli rabe to large bowl. Pour garlic oil over. Sprinkle with cheeses and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

      Just OK. Edible. Nothing special.

      So easy yet so good - a fantastic recipe as is!

      Couldn't find rapini, made with broccoli. It's probably a keeper, but not 4 forks material (I can imagine it with rapini).

      Very good. Easy and healthy week night dinner

      i made this recipe with linguini and baby broccoli. it was outstanding. i added a pinch of red pepper flakes and served with shrimp with garlic and breadcrumbs from this site. a garlic lover's delight! it was a gourmet meal but simple to prepare. highly recommended.

      Yum. Just as is. Very, very satisfying and simple.

      Very easy! Used broccolini and was excellent. Will definitely make again.

      Made this last night. I used broccoli (couldn't find rabe) and a different shaped pasta. The recipe is certainly easy, and it tastes good. It has a good balance of flavors -- not too cheesy, not too greasy, not too garlicky. And it's a great way to get the kids to eat some veggies. Next time I'll add some sausage just to make it a little heartier.

      I prepared this exactly as specified. This is easy and tastes great! I recommend the Pecorino Romano--it costs a little more but makes a big difference in flavor.

      Simple and delicious. My market didn't have any Rabe at this time, so I used broccolini. I think a little grated lemon zest would be a nice addition. I will try it next time.

      Try it with white truffle oil and sausage. Delicious!

      Thank you ɺlyciadaniels' I followed your advice and only used the little leaves and flowers and I absolutely loved this dish. While heating up the oil prior to adding the garlic I added an anchovy for a little extra flavor and I highly recommend doing this. This is a simple yet delicious dish that I will certainly be making again.

      I have been searching for a recipe similar to the one served at our favorite restaurant and this is it (except that they include kalamata olives and cherry tomatoes in their version). This is delicious in its original form or with the added ingredients just be sure to use good quality cheeses, it makes all the difference.

      Loved everything about this but the broccoli rabe. We found it to be bitter. Next time I will use broccoli or Broccolini.

      This dish is a staple in the winter, use all the rapini, but ensure it is fresh, ie discard any yellow parts and the stem ends. Delicious and feels healthy too.

      East and fast. I made it with brocolli and whole wheat pasta for my picky seven year old, and he ate it without complaint.

      I made the dish according to the specifications of alyciadaniels and the outcome was great. She is right about the flowers and small leaves being the only sweet part of the plant. (Guilt will force me to try the dish again with the big leaves tomorrow, rather than toss them out.) I mashed a couple cloves of garlic on medium heat and cooked them for a minute in olive oil. I tossed them out and, over low heat, melted four oil-packed anchovy fillets in the oil, then turned off the heat. Boiled my pasta, added in my rappini--flowers and small leaves only--and scooped it all into my pan. I turned on the heat under my pan, grated in some hard cheese, seasoned it with salt and chili flakes. Once platted, I poured generous amounts of good olive oil over each serving. More Parmesan at the table.

      I added red pepper flakes (about 1/2 tsp)when I sauteed the garlic and thought this dish was delicious. My broccoli rabe was tender and rather mild. You have to be careful when you buy this vegetable as it is sometimes quite bitter.

      This is delicious, and so easy.

      My husband is Pugliese. There's a secret to cleaning the rape, or rappini. You're only supposed to use the the little leaves and the flowers. The big leaves and stems are bitter and nasty. 20 lbs of rape doesn't yield very much food either. If the plant is not in. season, there aren't very many flowers and it's a waste of time. I guess it's also possible that it's a completely different beast in Italy. The little artichokes and arugola and completely different beasts there as well. When my father-in-law makes this dish, he sautees peeled and halved garlic cloves, rather than minced, and adds a little anchovy to the oil as well. After tossing the oil mixture with the pasta and rape, it is served with raw olive oil and red pepper flakes to taste. Olive oil in Italy is like wine, and it loses it's perfume when it's cooked, so they are constantly seasoning their food with raw olive oil. They even drizzle it over pizza. It really makes a difference in this dish. The oil is basically the sauce, and if you skimp on the oil for health reasons, then skimp on the cooked oil, and just add raw olive oil and the red pepper flakes, because it's really good for you, much better than cooked olive oil. If you don't want to bother with the rape, regular broccoli or cauliflower does just great. I make it with whole wheat penne for my 2 year old and he licks the plate. Just add pasta and vegetables to salted boiling water, and cook together until the pasta is done. Drain, and immediately mix it all up with raw olive oil, red pepper flakes and a little peccorino, and voila! Healthy dinner in 15 minutes. Buon Appetito!

      Wow, I'm not sure why there are bad reviews for this. It was outstanding and easy to make. I too cooked the pasta / rabe in broth (I used vegetable broth because my boyfriend is a vegetarian) and only sauteed the garlic for about 30 seconds, but only used about 1/8 of a cup of the oil to keep it light. I absolutely LOVED the flavor - I didn't find it bland at all - and it's also a beautiful pasta to serve, in my opinion. I will make it often!

      This is one of my favorite dishes--I add chickpeas and some red pepper flakes for an easy and delicious vegetarian dinner.

      Too garlicky - and I like garlic. I think you need to simmer the garlic absolutely perfectly to get the flavor right. I'll only make the dish again if I mix it up somehow - use roasted garlic, add some toasted pine nuts, or something.

      Wow, what a dissapointment- After all these reviews I thought this would be a no brainer for our dinner party tonight- It was SO bland. I doubled the garlic, added 1/4 t. of red pepper flakes to the oil and did the broth in the water as others had recommended and then after tasting it just before serving I panicked- it tasted like oily pasta with just a garlicky taste with some greens. I then added a ton of cheese and just had to serve it. My 8 year old told me it was DELICIOUS- this is from a child who eats plain pasta with a tad of butter usually! Definitely not a ⟊n i have the recipe' type recipe from any guests. I just made sure everyone had enough Italian wine so maybe they wouldn't notice. Won't make again. I think the key to this is that almost every review is saying what they added to this recipe. I would think with spicy sausage it would be much better but I have vegetarians in the family- if you have to add that many things to a recipe to make it good, it's not a good recipe.

      Perfect dish. Used lots and lots of garlic as well as some florets to fill out my small amount of rabe. The shock came as my toddlers munched broccoli saying 'yum yum mom' while grabbing for more. I'll make this again as I actually prefer it over our standard 'rabe with sausage'.


      Step 1

      Cook broccoli in a large pot of salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a colander and let cool (save pot of water for cooking pasta). Chop broccoli into small pieces set aside.

      Step 2

      Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic, shaking skillet occasionally, until it starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Cook sausage and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, breaking up meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 6–8 minutes.

      Step 3

      Bring reserved pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until barely al dente, about 9 minutes (set a timer for 3 minutes less than the package instructions it will cook more in the skillet).

      Step 4

      Meanwhile, ladle about ½ cup pasta cooking liquid from pot into skillet with sausage and add garlic and blanched broccoli. Keep mixture at a low simmer, stirring often and mashing with a potato masher to break up sausage even more, until pasta is finished cooking.

      Step 5

      Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer pasta to skillet, then ladle in ½ cup pasta water. Cook, stirring, until pasta absorbs most of the liquid and is just al dente, about 4 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted, then transfer pasta to a large bowl. Gradually add 1½ oz. Parmesan, tossing constantly until you have a glossy, emulsified sauce.

      Step 6

      Serve pasta topped with more Parmesan and red pepper flakes and a drizzle of oil.

      How would you rate Broccoli Bolognese with Orecchiette?

      Reading the naysayers and I don’t get it. One takes a recipe and as they make it, they adjust things, add more of what you like, less of what you don’t. I added extra garlic, bc I love garlic. I didn’t have enough orecchiette so I used another dried Italian pasta I got at home goods. I had Trader Joe’s sweet Italian but I have really good Parm from Fresh Market. Use the best ngredients you can get. This recipe was delicious. I sopped up some of the sausage grease because I thought the butter would add a nice creaminess. Both would have been too much for us. Bc of the pasta I used, I had to add more pasta water, and cook longer. Than added lemon zest (I think this is the key) and good parm. This was awesome, pretty darn easy, and a good weeknight meal for someone who likes to cook.

      Made this several times with great results. I use Beyond Spicy Italian "sausage". The suggestion to add a little lemon zest at the end is a good one. It brightens it up a bit!

      This is not a restaurant menu worthy dish at all, but it is easy to make with very few ingredients. I used hot Italian sausage and still felt that it was missing “something”. High quality parmesan and sausage do make a difference. I much prefer the traditional broccoli rabe (rapini) and sausage recipe.

      This dish was so easy to follow. Had to use bowtie pasta because its what I had and couldn't find the pasta recommended (wasn't willing to go multiple stores looking). The flavor was so good, (kept going back to taste). I will definitely keep this in the rotation. So So good.


      Anytime someone makes a recipe using less than a full lb of pasta, and particularly when they use 3/4, I'm frustrated. What am I going to do with this 1/4 lb of pasta I have left? Just design the recipe for the whole pound!

      We all know this isn’t a bolognese but that’s ok. No need to stress over a name when a dish is this delicious and easy. My fiancé is vegetarian (thank the lord I can use butter, milk, and cheese!) and this is a very easy recipe to make for him by subbing vegan sausage. I like Beyond’s version but that’s just me. We both work hard and cooking dinner isn’t always something I have energy for but I can make this super quick and still feel like I cooked a meal. For the most part I follow the recipe. If there are any additional changes it’s just to season to my liking. Thanks so much for a great recipe that makes all happy and satisfied.

      First off don't let the rest of what I'm about to say totally negate the fact that I love this weeknight recipe! If I don't have a recipe, I pick a veggie, a starch and a meat and voila! I have dinner and lunch for the next day that this is just that, only better! What my critiques are, this is 100% not a bolognese. Not even a little. This is not a meat and tomato sauce. It must be similar to a ragu and it must have flat pasta like tagliatelle or even pappardelle. I'm positive someone from BA knows this. Please just change the name to something else, that's also not like giada de laurentiis (which apparently this recipe is a total ripoff from one of her cookbooks?) Again, not saying i'm not eating this marvelous simple dish, just saying honor other people's hard work, and honor Italian heritage. This is not a bolognese.

      This is a super versatile recipe where you can substitute or add ingredients to the dish based on whatever you have available in your pantry/fridge/freezer. I used leftover italian salami instead of fresh sausage and it still tasted great! Also added a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of fresh ricotta at the end. This recipe will be part of the dinner rotation.

      I don't know why I waited so long to make this. It was so delicious and a pretty quick week night meal, took me about 30 min all together. I didn't have orecchiette so used cavatappi instead and it held the sauce and little bits of broccoli and sausage well . Also had a shallot hanging around so added that in when I was done browning one side of the pork. When I did my taste test before serving it seemed like it needed a little brightness so I mixed in a little Burlap & Barrel sumac and it was perfect. Will definitely be working this into my rotation!

      I just love this recipe. We've been making it almost weekly for months and it doesn't ever get old!! It's so comforting and I typically always have broccoli and sausage in the freezer so it's been especially great during quarantine when my grocery trips are less frequent. I've also found I like using frozen broccoli more than fresh! I think it's one of the only recipes that benefits from the mushier texture of frozen.

      Note to "Cecilia Lane" from New York this isn't a Giada Delaurentis recipe. Oorccheitte with sausage and broccoli rabe is an Italian classic nobody owns it. (There's also a classic version using sausage ragù instead of plain sausage.) This is basically a riff on that classic using regular broccoli (not broccoli rabe, which is quite different). The treatment is different too, with all that potato-peeler smashing. You wouldn't do that with broccoli rabe, but it works well in this recipe with regular broccoli.

      Very nice, although I made a few tiny changes. Finished with a bit of lemon zest, and that brings the bright note that is otherwise missing. Skip the butter at the end (or use less, as there's plenty of fat from the olive oil, sausage, and cheese). Toasted pine nuts (suggested by another reviewer) was a really nice touch, but optional. And less water simmer in white wine, adding pasta water as it reduces. Most important is to use really good sausage, as the sausage is the headliner here. Don't use that frozen supermarket sausage that's been in the freezer for 14 months there's no tomato sauce here to mask that sausage's sadness. Use the best you can get!

      Nice job, adam! Too bad this is a giada delaurentis recipe. everyone go look up "orccheitte with spicy sausage and broccoli rabe" changed tiny details "ex. 3 cloves rather than 4, head of broccoli instead of bunch" from a cook book published in 2005. You should credit her with this recipe.


      • Separate the broccoli florets from the stems and then pare the stems with a knife. Leave the floret clusters whole unless they’re especially large if so, cut them in half.
      • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the stems and cook for 3 or 4 minutes add the florets, and cook for another 5 min. until both the stems and the florets are just tender (test with a sharp paring knife). With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the pieces to ice water as they’re done. When cool, drain the broccoli well and chop it coarsely. Top up the pot with more hot water and return it to a boil.
      • Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until it loses its pink color. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté briefly to release the garlic’s fragrance. Add the broccoli and season well with salt. Stir to coat the broccoli with the seasonings. Keep warm over low heat.
      • Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook it until it’s just shy of al dente (1 to 2 min. less than the suggested cooking time). Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid by removing it with a ladle or a measuring cup. Drain the pasta and return it to the warm, empty pot. Add the contents of the skillet to the pasta and cook it over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the pasta is al dente, adding as much of the reserved water as needed to keep the pasta moist. Remove from the heat, stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese, and portion the pasta into six warm bowls. Top each portion with some of the remaining cheese.

      Recipe Notes

      Add to List



      • ¼ cup olive oil
      • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
      • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus 1 tablespoon for the pasta water
      • 1 pound ziti
      • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage, meat removed from casings and crumbled
      • 2 pounds broccoli rabe, cleaned and cut
      • ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
      • ½ cup grated Grana Padano cheese


      Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa

      Stretched between the Adriatic and Ionian seas, Puglia’s sun-soaked landscape in southern Italy is celebrated for its signature dish, orecchiette with broccoli rabe. The pasta’s “little ears,” as “orecchiette” translates, are the perfect shape to scoop up the chunkier sauce. Pair this dish with a glass of Primitivo or Aglianico wine for a perfectly traditional Pugliese meal.

      Orecchiette con Cime di Rapa (Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe)
      Recipe courtesy of Eataly

      For the fresh pasta*:
      1 cup durum semolina flour
      1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

      *If you prefer dry pasta:
      8 ounces dry orecchiette

      For the sauce:
      10 ounces broccoli rabe, rinsed & chopped
      ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil , plus more for drizzling
      ¼ cup grated aged pecorino, preferably from Puglia
      Crushed red pepper flakes , to taste
      1 clove garlic
      Sea salt , to taste

      To prepare the fresh orecchiette:
      In a medium bowl, whisk the two flours together. Mound the flour on a work surface, and make a well in the center.

      Place about 2 tablespoons of room-temperature water in the well. With two fingers, stir in some of the flour off the walls and into the center. When the water has been absorbed, repeat with more water, always adding small amounts, until you have a soft dough. (You will probably need between 2/3 cup and 1 cup water.)

      Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft, about 10 minutes. If it crumbles while you are kneading, wet your hands a few times to incorporate a small amount of additional liquid.

      Lightly flour a baking sheet, and set aside. Cut off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball, and put the remaining dough under an overturned bowl, to keep it from drying out. On the work surface, roll the piece of dough into a rope about ½ inch wide.

      Use a knife to slice off a disk about 1 1/8 inch wide, and pull the disk away from the rope of dough, pressing it against the work surface. Then lift up the disk and invert it over a fingertip. It should be shaped like a little hat with a rolled “brim” all around the perimeter. Transfer the shaped pasta to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.

      To prepare the dish:
      Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, add salt and cook the broccoli rabe until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

      Remove the broccoli rabe with a slotted spoon, and run under cold water. Squeeze as much water as possible out of the broccoli rabe, and chop roughly. Set aside.

      Let the water return to a boil, then add the orecchiette and cook until it floats to the surface (if fresh) or until it is al dente (if dry, about 12 minutes or according to package instructions).

      Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan. Peel and crush the garlic clove, sauté until browned, then remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and discard.

      When the pasta is cooked, drain and add it to the pan, along with the remaining olive oil and the chopped broccoli rabe. Toss over medium heat until combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle on the grated cheese and crushed red pepper flakes, and toss to combine. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and serve immediately.

      Watch the video: How to Cook Rapini (October 2022).