Dinner Last Night: Orecchiette with Kale and Spicy Sausage

RealSimple.com - Frances JanischAs I was thinking about a quick meal to make for dinner last night I remembered a delicious pasta dish I get for lunch at an Italian joint near my work, Orecchiette Broccoli Rabe with Spicy Sausage.  The restaurant, Pisticci, is a definite recommendation if you are ever around Morningside Heights.  A quick google came back what looked like a real simple recipe from, surprisingly, RealSimple.com.  As I have no clue about seasonal vegetables, I was a bit surprised that my local market didn’t have any broccoli rabe.  Instead I picked up kale, which, as New York tries to turn to spring, ended up being a nice homage to a favorite winter green (so I guess I do know something about seasonal veggies).  I also used spicy sausage instead of the called for sweet, and upped the red pepper flake – I like it spicy.  What came out was a quick delicious bowl pasta, that was very reminiscent of my favorite soup of the past winter, a recipe I found on SerisousEats.com: Curly Kale and Potato Soup with Sausage (also quite surprising given the names). Both are recommended; RealSimple.com’s recipe for the Orecchiette is below:

Pasta With Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Serves 6| Hands-On Time: 15m | Total Time: 25m


  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add the broth and red pepper and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and simmer, covered, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Stir in the butter and Parmesan and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Toss the pasta with the sausage mixture and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
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