It’s been a long time since I have been able to post anything. Time has just flown by. I was pregnant all this year and working full time until my due date. It really isn’t an excuse not to write, but it is the only excuse I have. In late August I gave birth to a happy and healthy baby girl. Life has been full and wonderful, but certain things have been pushed aside to make room for other things, like this blog and my brain. I am still waiting for my brain to return. It seems to be on permanent vacation, but I can’t wait any longer and it is time to get back to this blog that I have missed so much.
With that said, I can’t believe that it’s already November. I have a backlog of summer recipes that I was making and wanting to post, but those will just have to wait. It’s time for warm stews, things that are baked, and lovely autumn vegetables.
I saw some broccoli rabe in the store recently so I thought I would make the traditional dish of orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe. This dish is easy (I made it while talking on the phone to my sister-in-law!) and it is wonderful in many ways. Perfect for a post or pre-thanksgiving meal when you want to eat something not related to turkey.
Broccoli Rabe aka Rapini, is a leafy green vegetable related to the turnip. It doesn’t taste like broccoli, but it has florets that look like broccoli. (Don’t be put off if you see the florets blooming. The flowers are perfectly fine to eat.) It has a slightly bitter taste and an interesting texture. All in all the rapini is a sophisticated vegetable that won’t shirk from its responsibilities in this dish.
Since there are only a few ingredients, they all have to work with each other and stand up to each other at the same time. All you need is the Orecchiette, sweet Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, pecorino romano and olive oil. Orecchiette is easy to find now. Long gone are the days of going to a specialty store when you needed a pasta other than spaghetti. Barilla makes an orecchiette that can be found anywhere.
And final a side note: I like to take out some of the bitterness of the broccoli rabe by blanching it, but you can skip this step if you want. Enjoy!
Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
1½ lbs Sweet Italian Sausage
1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe, rinsed and chopped
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Pecorino Romano, grated
salt and pepper
Fill two large pots with water and bring up to a boil.
One pot will be for your pasta and the other for your broccoli rabe.
Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan.
Add sausage and brown.
If you bought sausage with a casing, remove the casing before cooking. I just squeeze the sausage out into the pan.
Be sure to break up the sausage into bite size pieces. You can do this with your spoon while it is browning.
While the sausage is browning go ahead and blanch the broccoli rabe.
When the water boils, add a few pinches of salt and then add the chopped broccoli rabe.
Cook for a minute and then drain.
If your sausage is ready you can add the rabe directly to the sausage pan, if not just run some cool water over it to stop the cooking and set aside until the sausage is ready.
Add once the sausage is browned.
Cook the orecciette when the other pot boils.
Once the pasta is ready, add to the pan with the browned sausage pan and broccoli rabe.
Combine all ingredients over a low heat to heat through if needed.
Add a few tablespoons of water to the pan to scrape any bits of sausage off the bottom.
Season with salt and pepper.
Plate and add a heaping amount of pecorino romano to each plate.