I had never heard of broccoli rabe before, but since I am always up for new types of food, especially veggies, I thought that I would try this. It’s called Broccoletti in my grocery store, and sometimes comes in a plastic wrapped package, and sometimes just in a bunch. It has a mild, kinda sweet flavor, not really like broccoli at all. The package says that it’s a Chinese hybrid, but when I google it, most sites say that it’s Italian. Whichever it is, Al really likes it a lot.
I use pre-cooked sausage for this, Al likes a mango-hot pepper one that is really tasty. He likes this sausage so much that I haven’t been able to try any other kind with this. We both really like this pasta, not only because it tastes great, I like it because it’s really easy to make.
3 bunches broccoli rabe, washed and trimmed
1 lb lean chicken sausage, sliced
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
16 oz orecchiette
1 15 oz can chicken broth
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Cut broccoli rabe in 2″ pieces. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When it comes to a rolling boil, add broccoli rabe. Blanch for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, drain and set aside. Re-fill pot with water and salt for the pasta and bring back to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, drain.
In the pasta pot, brown sausage and garlic on medium heat. Add chicken broth, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if using, mix well. Season with salt and pepper and cook about a minute. Add broccoli rabe and orecchiette to the pot Adjust salt and pepper to taste and toss another 30 seconds so that everything is mixed well and the pasta is coated with the sauce. Serve with additional grated cheese if desired.