Yum, yum, yummmm.....love me a good bowl of pasta! Honestly, if I had 3 final meals, I have to include some rigatoni or linguini in that line up. I'm just a carb-loving, the saucier-the-better, don't-forget-grated-cheese, kind of gal.
So naturally when I was perusing Whole Foods the other day, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the tantalizing Fresh Pasta display case newly sourced from Severino. Side note, this company also is my #1 favorite frozen ravioli brand. That being said, I was super giddy and incredibly way too indecisive when I found myself staring at this display.
"Oh, those beet ravioli are gorgeous," "Hhhhmmm, fresh linguini with clams sounds amazing," "Maybe the gnocchi with some brown butter," were just a few flashing thoughts racing through my hungry head.
Knowing I had some Butcher Block spicy sausage to use up, I pulled the trigger on the orecchiette and quickly grabbed some other essentials. Broccoli Rabe, Italian bread, and some good Parmigianno to be exact.
And in true Whole Foods habits, I also picked up about 10 things I didn’t need for dinner. Organic alphabet cookies, some new French cheese for $1000/lb, and some granola with Hemp in it, if you’re wondering. What in the world is hemp? I don‘t know, it’s probably one of those ingredients with cancer-fighting radicals that if you eat in all your meals, you’ll live to 150.
Thankfully, I didn’t add it to this dish. Somethings just can’t me messed with. And for me, it’s my pasta. Keep it to the basics.....olive oil, garlic, grated cheese, mixed with some love and attention. Love and attention, exactly what you’ll be feeling after serving this up at your table. Enjoy.....
Fresh Orecchiette tossed with Broccoli Rabe & Spicy Sausage
6 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 C low sodium chicken broth
1 head of broccoli rabe, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 links Italian spicy sausage, or mild if you prefer less heat, casings removed
Fresh Parmigianno Cheese, for garnich
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
In a large pasta pot, boil water. Once boiling, add broccoli rabe and let cook for 3 minutes in boiling water. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove broccoli rabe to ice bath (large bowl of water with many ice cubes) immediately. Drain water from ice bath and wring out broccoli rabe. Set aside
Keep water on boil. Meanwhile, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan.
Add sausage and cook for about 10-15 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it browns.
Once browned and into pea-size pieces, use slotted spoon to remove sausage to separate bowl. All drippings to remain in pan.
To the drippings, add additional 2 TBS olive oil, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes, or until shallots are translucent and garlic is adequately softened.
At this point, add your pasta to the boiling water and cook according to box/package directions.
To the shallot/garlic mixture, add in and stir the broccoli rabe and sausage. Keep flame over medium-low and add chicken broth and butter. Stir well, especially scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5-10 minutes.
Strain the pasta and add directly to the sauté pan. Toss to combine. Drizzle with last 2 TBS olive oil, generous grate of Parmigianno and a hearty pinch of salt & pepper.