I absolutely love Giada De Laurentiis' cookbooks. She has such fun and creative recipes that never seem to disappoint. I recently decided to try one her sauceless pastas - her famous orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe. I know it sounds strange to promote a sauceless pasta, but this recipe has the right amount of flavor it doesn't need a sauce.
First, boil the broccoli rabe in a pot of boiling water with a touch of salt. Leave it in the pot for about one minute and then transfer the broccoli to a separate bowl. Next, add the orecchiette pasta to the boiling water. While that is cooking saute the sausage in a pan with olive oil after removing the casings and breaking it up into pieces. Giada's recipe calls for Italian sausage, but I usually add one spicy sausage in the mix because I like extra flavor.
The sausage takes about 12 to 20 minutes to brown. Watch it closely, and when it is almost ready (about 3 - 4 minutes before browned) add garlic and red pepper flakes. It's a personal preference as to how much you add - I love garlic and like things a bit spicier so I add more than the recipe calls for. Meanwhile, when the pasta is al dente, reserve at least a cup of the cooking water. Once the sausage is golden brown, add the broccoli rabe to the pan for about one minute. Then add the orecchiette pasta as well as Parmesan cheese. If there is not enough moisture in the pan sprinkle some of the cooking water in the dish. Once everything is mixed together your sauceless pasta is ready to be served!
2 bunches broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
1 pound orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
4 - 6 garlic cloves
A few pinches red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
The red pepper flakes sauteed with garlic and the sausage add a great flavor to this dish. And the broccoli rabe, which offers a bitter taste, compliments the spicy flavor. Sprinkle extra Parmesan before serving as well as a touch of fresh ground pepper. This dish will soon become one of you favorite meals to make!