Orecchiette Sausage with Broccoli Rapini.

 

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I think most kids growing up in an Italian house ate this meal often!  It was and remains one of my favorites.  It’s so easy, perfect for a weeknight dinner, and covers everyone’s loves.  Pasta…  Check!  Meat…  Check!  Vegetables… well maybe not a kid’s love but parents… Check!

Ingredients:

1 package of orecchiette pasta
1.5 lbs of hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage (casing removed)
1 large bunch of broccoli rapini
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional)
Hot pepper flakes (optional)
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package directions BUT 2 minutes prior to the cooking suggestion (let’s say 9 minutes – so at 7 minutes) you will add the washed and trimmed broccoli rapini.  Give a good stir.  Then promptly drain at the suggested time for the pasta (again, let’s say 9 minutes).

In the meantime, drizzle a bit of olive oil into your pan and add the sausage once the pan is hot  (I remove the casings with a filet knife prior to cooking.  Insert the knife superficially and proceed down the link.  Grabbing the casing, you can roll the meat out of it.  Cook until no longer pink.  Add the garlic, fennel seeds, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Then once the pasta and broccoli is drained, add that to the sausage mixture.  Drizzle some additional olive oil on top and give a good toss.  Adjust seasonings accordingly.  Plate up and serve with some crusty bread and a good glass of wine.  Enjoy!

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— Knead to Cook

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