Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe

Did you know that orecchiette ( O-REE-KEY-ETT-AY) means little ears in Italian? This famous pasta is still hand made in Italy today, and it is a favorite of ours becuase the little shells hold sauce very well.

I know. The word broccoli is usually an automatic turn-off. But, hear me out. Broccoli rabe is a little longer, and easier to eat for some picky eaters. The taste is much better, too! This meal is 30 minutes from start to finish, and everyone seems to enjoy it! 

Orecchiette and Broccoli Rabe

  • 1 pound box orecchiette pasta
  • 1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup evoo
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp onion 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian herb season
  • 1/4-1/2 liquid (vegetable stock, chicken stock, white wine)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Boil a large kettle of salted water and prepare the pasta as directed.
  2. Get out a large pan with high sides and a large non-stick stick skillet.
  3. Open turkey sausage, remove casings and squeeze the turkey into the non-stick pan. Sautee to crumble on medium heat about 10 min, or until brown and crumbly.
  4. In the large pan with high sides, swirl 1/4 cup of evoo, the powdered garlic, onion, red pepper flakes until fragrant, 5 min. ( You can use real stuff, but I was in a hurry, so Penzeys spices it is!!!!).
  5. Add the broccoli rabe ( rinsed and cut into thirds) to the oil, stir fry on high heat for 3 minutes, or until desired tenderness.
  6. Drain pasta.
  7. Add butter to the broccoli, and if it looks dry, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup liquid ( vegetable stock, chicken stock, white wine). Add the meat crumbles and as much pasta as you would like. 
  8. Cook for 4 minutes to bring everything together. Reduce the liquid by 1/2, especially if cooking with wine!
  9. Top with 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
  10. Enjoy!
  11. Yield: 6

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