Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

Orecchiette is such a cute pasta shape! In Italian orecchia means “ear” -etta meaning “small”. And that’s what the pasta shape looks like…little ears. They are super easy to eat, and easily holds all the sauce and goodness in your recipes. I have had Orecchiette in my favorite restaurants, but it is almost always served with Broccoli Rabe. I’m not a fan of Broccoli Rabe as it is quite bitter. Hence this recipe for Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli.


This recipe is literally one of the easiest recipes I have made. Sometimes I even add some sun dried tomatoes.

While the Orecchiette is cooking, saute the sausage in a little oil in a cast iron, or stainless steel skillet until cooked, and add garlic. Then add the broccoli, broth, additional oil, red pepper and salt and pepper to season. A non-stick pan is not recommended as it does not create the browned bits on the bottom of the pan that adds so much flavor.


Add butter until thickened , and add mixture to drained Orecchiette, add cheese and mix.

Sprinkle with a little fresh and chopped parsley and additional cheese if desired.

I adapted this recipe from Lidia Matticchio’s recipe. I always make a recipe exactly as it is called for. Then I tweak ingredients id I feel I need to. She uses fresh Orecchiette, I opted for using dried. I use a lot more butter than she does. I changed the broccoli di rapa for broccoli. Both versions are delicious. It’s almost like you can’t mess up this recipe. It’s that good.


Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1- 1 lb.package Orecchiette
  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cases removed
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock, more if needed
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1 ounce)

Instructions

1

Boil a large pot of salted water. Prepare the orecchiette according to package directions.

2

While the orecchiette is cooking, place a couple tablespoons of the oil in a skillet. On medium to medium high heat, cook sausage, breaking up the pieces with a silicone spatula. Cook until slightly browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

3

Add the remaining oil, broccoli, broth, salt and red pepper flakes. Cook 4-5 minutes until broccoli is slightly tender.

4

Stir in butter and half of the cheese.

5

Add remaining cheese when serving.

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