Orecchiette With Brocoli Rabe & Sausage

 I love the food in Puglia, and every time my husband and I take a trip to that amazing region, I come home with a list of recipes to make. This is one recipe that I learned to make on our first trip to Puglia, and it has become a family favorite. Traditionally this dish does not contain sausage, but the inclusion of sausage makes this a very hearty dish that I serve as a main course. The men in my family prefer the addition of sauasage, while us females are happy to eat it with or without sausage.

Orecchiette are little bowl shaped pasta that are made by hand simply with a mixture of semolina flour and water, particularly around Puglia. If I am making this dish without sausage, I often include an anchovy or two to increase the flavor. If using sausage, you can use either a mild or spicy variety. The addition of red chili flakes can also be adapted to how spicy you like your food. To serve this southern Italian favorite, I pass grated Pecorino Romano cheese at the table.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele

Orecchiette With Brocoli Rabe & Sausage

Orecchiette With Brocoli Rabe & Sausage

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Orecciette are little bowl shaped pasta that are made by hand simply with a mixture of semolina flour and water, particularly around Puglia.


  • 1 Pound Homemade or Dried Orecchiette
  • 1 Pound Broccoli Rabe
  • 8 Ounces Italian Sausages (Mild or Spicy)
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Pinch Of Red Pepper Flakes
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper To Taste
  • 1/3 Cup Good Quality Olive Oil

To Serve:

  • Grated Pecorino or Caciocavallo Cheese


  1. Trim the broccoli rabe by cutting off any tough stems, and chop into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Peel the skin off the tougher pieces and cut these into 1 inch pieces as well.
  3. Remove the sausage meat from the casings, and in a small saucepan, heat the oil and cook the sausage until it is no longer pink.
  4. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.
  5. Set Aside.
  6. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the pasta.
  7. Cook as per package instructions until the last 4-5 minutes of cooking.
  8. Add the broccoli rabe to the pasta pot and cook until tender.
  9. Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving a small cup of pasta water.
  10. Return the pasta mixture to the pot and mix well with the sausage oil mixture, adding a little pasta water as needed to keep it moist.
  11. Serve piping hot offering grated cheese at the table.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 501mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 12g

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