Orecchiette pasta is an ideal partner for the weighty sausage and broccoli rabe in this recipe. For a milder flavor, use broccoli instead of broccoli rabe.
1 pound orecchiette or some other short pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, or 1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 head broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth and red pepper and bring to a boil. Then add the broccoli rabe, cover, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the drained pasta, season with the salt and black pepper, and toss to combine.
Tip: Broccoli rabe, a leafy distant cousin of broccoli, has a bitter flavor and smaller florets. For a milder alternative, substitute broccoli. For a more peppery bite, try arugula, Swiss chard, or beet greens.
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