ORECCHIETTE WITH BROCCOLI RABE AND SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE!
This is an easy dish to prepare and I serve it all year round. Many different flavors and textures to enjoy in this dish enhanced by the fruity extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I serve it often in the summer with a simple salad, crusty Italian bread and a cold glass of Pinot Grigio! Enjoy!
2 pounds broccoli rabe
4 cups water
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced (not too thin)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 sweet Italian sausages
8 ounces Orecchiette pasta
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 lemon, sliced thin
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the stems off the broccoli rabe, along with any discolored leaves.
Bring the water to a boil, add the broccoli rabe, and cover. Boil until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse in cool water, and leave to continue to drain for 5 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press more water out.
Heat a heavy skillet on high heat. Add the olive oil and the garlic, and saute just until the garlic starts to turn golden, immediately add the broccoli rabe, and mix well. Add the salt and mix again. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the sausages on a baking tray and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning at least three times to ensure even cooking. Remove the sausage from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes, before you cut them in 1-1/2 inch pieces.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and place it back into the pot you boiled it in. Turn the heat to medium high, add the broccoli rabe, cut-up sausages, and red pepper flakes, and mix well, add more kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste if you like, mix in the lemon juice, and garnish with slices of lemon. Sprinkle on a handful of Parmesan cheese over the top. (optional) Serve immediately.