Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

sausage and broccoli rabe

Sausage and broccoli rabe served with orchetti is an Italian pasta recipe tradition. Orchetti or little ears create the perfect pocket for a delicious pork bite.

Broccoli rabe is flowered into the blend of mini pork meatballs then visited by a pinch of crushed red pepper to add the perfect amount of heat.
Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil and parmigiano to give it that final touch!

Ok, so I just gave away my recipe. But don’t let that stop you from reading on. Yes, I know there are some scrumptious Italian pasta sauces made with sweet and spicy Italian sausage, slathered in a juicy red sauce, and they are delicious too. But this is a simple and flavorful sausage pasta dish that you and your friends with love.

Pork sausage is a mandatory meat staple that infuses so many wonderful Italian meals, and for this Italian pasta recipe it's our primary ingredient, so choose a good quality Italian sausage or even better, have your butcher grind some pork fresh and blend it with your favorite spices. Mix together some:

  1. salt and pepper
  2. sage
  3. fennel is a must
  4. garlic of course
Keep it simple and delicious. You can even bring your blend of spices to the butcher and if you ask very nicely, he might add them right in as he grinds your pork fresh.

Have you noticed that Italian Pasta recipes have very few ingredients to them? It's all about simple, fresh, humble food and that is what makes it so good.

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pasta Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb orchetti shaped pasta
  2. 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  3. 1 bunch of broccoli rabe (or called rapini in Italian)
  4. ½ cup of olive oil
  5. 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
  6. ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  7. ½ cup parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
  8. salt and pepper to taste
If you purchased Italian sausage in the casings for this sausage and broccoli rabe recipe you can slice a long cut down the side of the casing, discard the casing and use the meat inside.

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pasta Instructions:

Preparing the rapini is simple. Take a small knife and cut about an inch of the bottom of each stem. The use the small knife to peel the tough outer skin of the stems away. Discard this outer skin. Now cut into pieces about one to two inches long. Cut the florets into two inch pieces.

chilled rapini

Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook your broccoli rabe. When it gets to a boiling point, add the Rapini and cook for 3-5 minutes. Quickly remove from the heat, drain and plunge in cold water with ice cubes to maintain it's bright green color!

Now begin cooking your orchetti pasta. It's a thick pasta shape and it takes time to cook the pasta perfectly and al dente.

Remove the rapini from the ice water and set aside to drain until you're ready to add to the sausage pasta dish.

Sausage Balls Sausage Balls

Take your ground sausage meat and form them into little balls on a plate till you're ready to cook. Or you can just clump them into little nonuniform pieces, which can be a lot more fun.

Heat your pan on medium. That will allow the sausage to cook without burning and the natural fat of the sausage will prevent it from sticking to the pan. It's all about the flavor of the pork in this step.

Don't worry, you're going to drain the fat once the pork is cooked. After draining the fat from the pan you can add your sliced garlic and sauté until tender.

Sausage pasta saute

When the sausage and garlic are complete you'll add the rappini and the olive oil and heat for a minute or two. Drain the orchetti, which should be done by now, and add the orchetti to the pan with the crushed red pepper and stir to blend all the flavors together. The heat of the stove will bring out the heat of the crushed red pepper.

Remove from heat when you're ready to serve your sausage and broccoli rabe pasta add the parmigiano and stir together. Drizzling a little more olive oil certainly isn’t a crime either.

I like to serve this Italian pasta recipe family style. In a big bowl with a big “help yourself” spoon and bottle of "help yourself” wine.

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

Do you have a easy pasta recipe you'd like to share? Just like this sausage and broccoli rabe pasta I'll post a whole page dedicated to your Italian pasta recipe right here on this site.
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