Orecchiette with Sausage & Broccoli Rabe

We’ve only been home a few days, but I’ve been dreaming of orecchiette pasta ever since our
dinner at Carnevino. We shared this amazing pasta dish with sausage and a tomato sauce
with something… possibly parsley? chard? It was sooooo good. And while I doubt I could ever recreate a Mario Batali dish, particularly without a recipe, I had to satisfy the craving. I dug through recipes until I found a few that provided the correct base and took a whirl at my own creation. Now I may be completely obsessed with both broccoli rabe and orecchiette pasta.

Orecchiette with Sausage & Broccoli Rabe
adapted from sunday supper

1 pound orecchiette pasta
1/2 pound broccoli rabe, washed, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound Italian sausage, crumbled
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente; drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, bring another large pot of salted water to boil. Add broccoli rabe
and blanch 30 seconds; drain. Plunge broccoli rabe into a bowl of ice water. Cool and drain
again. Lay in one layer on a kitchen towel to thoroughly dry. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add crumbled sausage to the skillet. Sauté over medium heat until golden brown and cooked through. Pour off all but one tablespoon
of accumulated oil in the skillet. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté until fragrant,
30 seconds. Add tomatoes, broccoli rabe, pepper and salt. Sauté until heated through.
Remove skillet from heat. Add cooked pasta to the skillet; toss to combine.

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