- 12 oz orecchiette pasta
- 1 bunch or more broccoli rabe
- 5 links of Italian sausage or 10 oz bulk Italian sausage
- 1 can chicken stock or equivalent of homemade
- 1/4 cup olive oil or a bit more as needed
- 4 or 5 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese
- 2 tbsp. butter
- In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil.
- Coarsely chop the sausage and set aside. If using sausage links, remove the sausage from the casing first.
- Thoroughly wash the broccoli rabe, as it tends to be gritty. Trim off and discard the bottom 2 inches of the stem and remove the tough outer leaves, if any, leaving the tender leaves, stalks, and buds. Chop the stems in half or thirds, as you prefer.
- Add the broccoli rabe to the boiling water and boil about 5-6 minutes until the stems start to soften. Remove from the water and set aside. Do not drain the water, as it will be used to boil the orecchiette pasta.
- In a large skillet, add the olive enough to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add the chopped sausage and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and sauté about 2 or 3 minutes. Then add the crushed red
- pepper and sauté for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic and red pepper.
- Add the chicken stock and deglaze the pan then add the broccoli rabe. Bring the chicken stock to a boil then reduce to low heat and let simmer while the orecchiette is boiling.
- Bring the water back to a boil, add the orecchiette pasta and cook until just al dente. Drain the orecchiette and add to the skillet with the broccoli rabe and sausage.
- Add the butter and grated cheese and cook for 2 or 3 minutes while stirring and tossing the whole time until the sauce slightly thickens and orecchiette is well coated.
- Serve immediately topped with grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese.