Orecchiette with broccoli rabe (rapini) and sausage is a classic southern Italian dish that I have loved for years. This is my spin on the classic that trades Gemelli for orecchiette for its more toothsome bite, adds plump golden raisins for little pockets of sweetness, and pine nuts for a vein of earthy crunch. To assuage the kid's palates, I make mine with sweet Italian sausage amped with a touch of red pepper flakes. If you prefer it a bit spicier, by all means substitute hot Italian sausage. —Oui, Chef
sweet Italian sausage
rapini (broccoli rabe)
low-sodium chicken broth reduced by half to 1 cup
Set a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
Place low-sodium chicken stock in a pan and reduce by half to 1 cup, add dry white wine and reserve.
Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry skillet, reserve.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, squeeze sausages from their casings, dropping bite-sized pieces in the hot skillet to saute, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausages to a bowl, leaving behind the drippings in the skillet.
Cook the pasta to producers instructions for al dente.
Trim the ends, wash, dry, and cut the brocolli rabe into 1-1/2” pieces. Add to the drippings in the skillet and saute over medium-high heat until wilted and just starting to take color. Add the sliced garlic and pepper flakes and cook 1-2 minutes, add the reduced chicken broth, wine, and raisins and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli rabe is just starting to soften, but still has a nice bite to it.
Drain the pasta and add to the skillet, chuck in a few large knobs of butter and the pine nuts, and toss to combine. Check seasoning for salt and pepper, and serve topped with ribbons of freshly peeled parmesan.
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin.
About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.