Orechiette with Sausage & Broccoli
My friend Theresa from Foodhunter's Guide to Cuisine is hosting Presto Pasta Nights and here is my entry.
Orechiette w/ Sausage & Broccoli.
Orechiette means "little ears" in Italian. Served with broccoli rabe and sausage, this is one of MY favorite pasta dishes of all time.
However, there are many broccoli rabe haters out there. They say it is too bitter (like the other eater in this house)......so I make it with regular broccoli florets instead.
On another note, this is the only time that I like my broccoli OVERCOOKED, not al dente. It should be light green and on the soft side, so it will blend in with the other ingredients, however it is personal choice.
There are no rules when making this dish.
I make it different every time. Sometimes I add anchovies depending on the sausage I am using.
Here is the best Orrechiette w/ Sausage and Broccoli. I promise.
1 lb. of orechiette (little ears) pasta, cooked as per directions
1 lb. of the best Italian sausage (hot or sweet), casings removed
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
pinch or 2 of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup of pasta water
olive oil to coat the pan
In a large heavy skillet, coat the pan with olive oil on medium heat.
Add sausage and garlic. Break up sausage w/ wooden spoon while cooking.
I blanch my broccoli for 2 minutes in boiling water to get it started and set it aside.
When the sausage is cooked, add your broccoli florets, hot pepper flakes and chicken stock and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until the broccoli is nice and soft and you can break it into tiny pieces with the back of a wooden spoon and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Cook your pasta according to directions. Add your cooked orechiette to the sausage and broccoli mixture and mix in the 1 cup of pasta water.
*Don't forget to save 1 cup of your pasta water (that has happened to me many times, I drain my pasta and forget about that good starchy water!).
This will thicken up the sauce.
Now you are done.
You can add freshly grated parmesan cheese if you like, but it doesn't need another thing.