Italian Sausage and Broccolette with Orecchiette

by Feb 6, 2015


You can get this spicy and satisfying Italian-inspired dinner on the table in less than half and hour.  Any hearty green will work, from broccoli rabe to dandelion greens to chicory, even the baby broccoli known as “broccolette” and “broccolini”, so get to your market and see what they’ve got.  Orecchiette is a little cup-like pasta shape that has a doughy bite and scoops up bite-sized ingredients just right, but any moderately small shaped pasta will do.  Or play Italian and use the sausage-broc melange for a sandwich filling.  Open a red.  Cheers!


If you think dried pasta is ho-hum, try one by Rustichella d’Abruzzo.  (Find a great selection in Bozeman at Joe’s Parkway.)


Inspired by L’Apicio’s Broccoli Rabe with Sausage, Food and Wine, April 2013

Italian Sausage and Broccolette with Orecchiette

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 bunch broccolette, stems peeled
  • 8 oz. hot Italian sausage
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced and mashed with ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add salt. (Approx. 2 tablespoons salt to 6 quarts.) Blanch broccolette until nearly tender, 2 - 3 minutes. Remove broccolette to bowl of ice water to stop cooking and set color. Remove broccolette from ice bath and squeeze dry in a clean kitchen towel, then chop into 2 - 3 inch pieces.
  2. In large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil and add the Italian sausage, squeezing it out of the casing if you have links. Cook over medium heat, breaking up the sausage into small pieces, until cooked through. Drain off fat from sausage.
  3. Add 3 Tbsp. olive oil to sausage in pan, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute. Add the chopped broccolette and cook until tender, 2 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice and toss. Taste and add additional sea salt if you wish. Serve with orecchiette cooked al dente and top with grated cheese.


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