(Ear-shaped Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage)
Serves: 6 Time: 35 minutes
2 pounds broccoli rabe, florets and tender stems only (pre-blanched and chopped)
¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves,
crushed 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chicken broth (use chicken stock if you have it available), plus more if necessary
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese (preferably Locatelli)
1 pound oforecchiette pasta
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage meat and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for about 3-4 minutes or until no longer pink.
2. Add crushed garlic and red pepper flakes and continue cooking until the sausage is lightly browned, about 2 minutes longer.
3. In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
4. Drain the fat from the skillet and add the remaining olive oil to the skillet.
5. Add 1/3 of the broccoli rabe to the pan and toss until it begins to wilt.
Continue until all of the rabe is added and cover pan. Cook until all the rabe begins to wilt and turns a bright green color, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add butter and stir to coat.
6. Add the chicken broth or stock and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli rabe become tender, about 15 minutes. If liquid begins to dissipate add additional stock ¼ cup at a time.
8. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 Tbsp. kosher salt.
9. Add orecchiette pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water, and return pasta to the pot. Reduce heat to medium low.
10. Immediately add broccoli rabe and sausage mixture to the pasta pot.
Add ½ of the grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
11. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the remaining cheese as garnish.