Orecchiette with Broccoli  
Rabe and S

Orecchiette, "little ears" in Italian, are small disc- or ear-shaped semolina pastas once made only at home. 
If you can't find this shape, any ridged or tubular small pasta will hold this sauce just fine.

The bitter rabe is nicely balanced by the intensity of the hot and sweet sausage to produce a very appetizing combination of flavors.


¼ cup Flavored Olive Oil (see below)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 pound Italian sausage, a combination of
  hot and sweet according to your taste, cut
   into bite-size pieces 
1 pound broccoli rabe, cooked (see below)
1 cup broccoli rabe water (see below)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound orecchiette
Freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1.  Heat oil and stir in garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  
Add the sausages and sauté until meat is cooked and loses its raw look. 

2. Add cooked broccoli rabe to sausage. Add rabe water, and salt and 
pepper to taste. 

3. Raise heat and cook until sauce is hot. 

4. Meanwhile, cook orecchiette in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente.

5. Drain orecchiette. Return drained orecchiette to the pot. Place over 
medium-high heat and stir in ¾ cup of broccoli rabe and sausage sauce. 
Using a wooden spoon, toss together for I minute. Remove from heat and 
pour into a large serving platter or bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over the top. 
Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese. 


flavored Olive Oil

Makes 1 cup


1 cup fine-quality olive oil (such as              
  Filippo Berio)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

Heat oil in a small, heavy saucepan on medium-low heat.  Add garlic and barely simmer until garlic is just beginning to brown.  Remove and discard garlic.  Pour oil into a clean container and reserve, at room temperature, to use as flavored oil for frying and sautéing.


Rao’s Four Basic Vegetables  include

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli di Rape


2 large bunches broccoli rabe

1.  Remove any tough outer or damaged leaves.  Cut off the stems and tear the leaves into large pieces (about 3 to 4 inches).  Wash in a sink filled with cold water.  Shake off excess water.

2.  Place broccoli rabe in a deep saucepan with cold water to cover by about 2 inches.  Bring just to a simmer over high heat.  As soon as bubbles appear at the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat.

3.  Drain cooking water.  (Reserve it if you are going to combine the broccoli rabe with pasta or are going to prepare a Rao’s recipe requiring broccoli rabe water.)

4.  Immediately place broccoli rabe in cold water to cover to stop the cooking process.  When broccoli rabe is cool, drain well in a colander and pat dry.

5.  Cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate until ready to sauté or add to pasta or sauces.


(Just in case you are curious and have not had a chance to get your own copy of this cookbook yet, the other three basic vegetables are Savoy Cabbage, Escarole and Broccoli.  The book also includes a luscious looking platter of Asparagus with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese as well as recipes for some other mouth-watering vegetables.).

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