This recipe is a quick, tasty way to squeeze in some extra servings of dark greens. It’s inspired by a favorite dish of mine at Teatro, a cute little Italian restaurant near the Boston Common. Think of the pasta and the sausage as delicious garnishes, as opposed to the main stars of the dish.
Makes 6 small servings or 4 large ones
- 8oz orecchiette, uncooked
- 2 large bunches broccoli raab, about 1.5-2 lbs
- 1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage (I love the ones from Whole Foods, made on-site)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 6 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Get a large stockpot full of salted water boiling.
- Cut broccoli raab into 1.5 inch pieces.
- Cut sausage meat out of the casing. Using your hands, separate into small bits. Cook over medium heat until no longer pink.
- Turn the heat under the meat to low and add red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook gently for about a minute or two, until garlic is fragrant but not burnt.
- Cook orecchiette in boiling water. Check the box to see how long it will take to cook it to your preferred doneness, then set the timer for 3 minutes less than that.
- Once your timer goes off, add in the broccoli raab to the stockpot and stir. While the broccoli raab is cooking, scoop out and set aside about a cup and a half of pasta water. Continue to cook for 3 minutes, and drain.
- Scoop the sausage mixture, the drained orecchiete, and the broccoli raab into the stockpot, add a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and mix well. Sprinkle in parmesan. Drizzle in pasta water and mix to thin the sauce to your desired consistency.