Featured Italian Dinner

How to make Orecchiette with Sausage and Rapini

The Orecchiette with sausage and rapini. Rapini or what is sometimes known as broccoli rabe closely resembles broccoli but is not a broccoli derivative at all but is actually, closely related to the turnip family. It is a little bitter and  a favorite in Italian recipes. Orecchiette is a pasta that is a favorite from Puglia and gets its name because it is shaped like little ears. 


SERVING: Serves 3-4


  • 1 lb. orecchiette – or your favorite
  • 1 lb Italian sausage – sweet or hot
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 3-4 tb. extra virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper – freshly ground to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated cheese – your favorite
  • 1 lb rapini – trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – sliced
  • Pinch of salt – to taste
  • Red pepper flakes – to taste



  1. Cut the sausage into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal. Trim about ½-inch off the bottom of the rapini, wash thoroughly and roughly chop. 
  2. In a large pot of salted boiling water blanch the rapini for a quick 3 minutes, remove and place in an ice bath for a few minutes, drain, shake off excess water, set aside. 
  3. Using the same water, cook the pasta until just al dente. 
  4. In a large pan, cook the sausage until brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. 
  5. Using the same pan, do not wipe, add the olive oil, and sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper for just a few minutes without burning the garlic. 
  6. Add the rapini and sauté for an additional few minutes. Add the sausage, mix well, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  7. In a large serving bowl, mix together the pasta and the sausage/rapini mixture. Add to individual serving bowls. 
  8. Pass grated cheese for sprinkling and some extra virgin olive oil. 
  9. Orecchiette with Sausage and Rapini is now ready.


NOTE: My family likes it when I add a drained can of white beans or navy beans to the dish just before serving. 




Facebook Comments
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply