Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe


Carmine's Celebrates

Published by St. Martins Press

This image courtesy of Alex Martinez

Editor's Note: Add orecchiete to your pasta rotation with this easy Italian recipe. Orecchiete with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe is a simple dinner recipe that is packed with flavor, protein, and vegetables. Top each bowl of Orecchiete with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe with a dusting of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for the perfect dinner.

Orecchiette translates to “little ears,” describing the shape of this distinctive pasta. That shape is important because it is ideal for trapping flavorful juices and bits of spices and herbs, making every bite a tiny celebration. The pasta itself moderates the pleasant bitterness of the broccoli rabe, allowing for the full-bodied flavor of the greens to shine through. The broccoli rabe, for its part, contrasts the sweet spiciness of the sausage, a meaty richness that makes this dish incredibly satisfying and helps bring it alive on the tongue. You can experiment with your own favorite type of sausage. In either case, the sauce is a wonderfully light vehicle for the cacophony of savory flavors.

Serves4 to 6

Cooking MethodSauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationPeanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free


Taste and TextureGarlicky, Meaty, Savory

Type of DishPasta


  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 7 ounces Italian chicken sausage
  • ½ cup sliced garlic
  • ½ pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic 
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 12 ounces orecchiette, cooked al dente
  • ¾ cup grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Toasted Bread Crumbs


  1. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage and brown, breaking up the sausage into quarter-size pieces as it cooks.

  2. Add the sliced garlic and sauté until it begins to pick up color. Add the broccoli rabe, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the basil, and 1/2 tablespoon of the parsley and sauté for about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the chicken stock and cook until the liquid has reduced by one-quarter. Finish the sauce with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil and 1/2 tablespoon parsley, the salt, and pepper.

  4. Add the cooked pasta and cheese to the pan and toss to coat. Serve in a medium serving bowl or on a deep platter, garnished with the toasted bread crumbs.


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Love how easy but flavorful this looks! Pasta dinners can get boring/repetitive, but the sausage and veggies here will definitely help mix things up.

Where does one find Italian chicken sausage?


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