Orecchiette is a Puglian pasta named for the shape it resembles: little ears! Cooking tip: No need to change the water in between cooking the broccoli rabe and the pasta. Not only will the pasta take on some of the delicious flavor of the broccoli rabe, but it will also absorb of its nutrients.
Total time: 20-30 minutes
¾ pound Italian sausage
1 bunch broccoli rabe
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon chicken base
⅛ teaspoon chile flakes (optional)
8 ounces orecchiette
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup water
1. Cook Sausage
Remove sausage from casing. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add sausage, breaking up into small pieces. Cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
2. Cook Broccoli Rabe
Bring a large pot of water and 1 pinch salt to a boil over high heat. Wash broccoli rabe. When water is boiling, add broccoli rabe and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from water with tongs and allow to cool slightly, 2-3 minutes. Cut into 1-inch pieces and add to pan with sausage. Leave pot with water on high heat and bring back to a boil.
3. Make Sauce
Mince garlic. In a small bowl, mix chicken base with ½ cup water. Add minced garlic, chicken base mixture, and chile flakes, if desired, to pan with sausage and broccoli rabe. Turn heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and cook until liquid has reduced by half. Then, reduce heat to low.
4. Cook Orecchiette
Add orecchiette to pot with boiling water. Cook until al dente, about 7-9 minutes. Drain in a colander and add to pan with sausage.
5. Finish Orecchiette
Combine ingredients in pan and stir over low heat until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Taste pasta and add salt and pepper as needed.
6. Plate Orecchiette
Divide pasta evenly between two bowls and serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.