Sausage & Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette A Flavor Fusion

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette

Welcome to a delightful culinary journey! In this article, we’ll explore the mouthwatering world of Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette, a pasta dish that combines the earthy goodness of broccoli rabe with the savory delights of sweet Italian sausage. It’s a dish that’s quick to prepare and bursting with flavor, perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions.

What is Orecchiette?

The Joy of Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette

Orecchiette, which means “little ears” in Italian, is a pasta variety hailing from the Puglia region of Southern Italy. Its unique shape, resembling small concave discs, makes it perfect for capturing the rich flavors of sauces and ingredients. In this recipe, Orecchiette’s ability to cradle the sauce will play a starring role.

A Quick and Delicious Pasta Dish

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette is a delightful combination of textures and tastes. The sausage brings a meaty and slightly spicy kick, while broccoli rabe offers a slightly bitter and nutty flavor. Together, they create a harmonious symphony in your mouth.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To embark on this culinary adventure, gather the following ingredients:

1. Orecchiette Pasta

Orecchiette pasta, around 12 ounces.

2. Sweet Italian Sausage

Sweet Italian sausage links, approximately 4 links.

3. Fresh Broccoli Rabe

A bunch of fresh broccoli rabe, about 1 pound.

4. Garlic and Olive Oil

3 cloves of garlic and 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.

Cooking Instructions

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating this delectable dish.

1. Boil the Orecchiette

Begin by boiling a large pot of salted water. Once boiling, add the Orecchiette pasta and cook until it’s al dente, usually about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Brown the Sausage

In a separate skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Remove the sausage from its casings and crumble it into the pan. Cook until the sausage is browned and cooked through, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks.

3. Sauté the Broccoli Rabe

While the sausage is cooking, blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain and set aside. In the same skillet used for the sausage, add minced garlic and sauté for a minute. Then, add the blanched broccoli rabe and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes until it’s tender.

4. Combine and Toss

Combine the cooked Orecchiette, browned sausage, and sautéed broccoli rabe in a large bowl. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss everything together. The pasta should be coated with the flavorful ingredients.

Serving and Enjoying

This Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette is best enjoyed hot. Serve it in generous portions, and don’t forget to sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top for an extra layer of savory goodness.

Wine Pairing Suggestions

Pair this dish with a glass of red wine, such as Chianti or Merlot, to complement the richness of the sausage and broccoli rabe.

Benefits of this recipe:

Delicious Flavor Combination:

This recipe brings together the savory and slightly spicy flavor of sweet Italian sausage with the earthy, nutty taste of fresh broccoli rabe. The combination creates a delightful contrast that pleases the palate.

Quick and Easy Preparation:

This dish is perfect for busy weeknights when you want a satisfying meal without spending hours in the kitchen. The simple cooking instructions make it accessible for home cooks of all skill levels.

Balanced Nutritional Profile:

Broccoli rabe is a nutritious leafy green that provides essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium. It adds a healthy component to the meal, balancing the richness of the sausage.

Versatile Ingredients:

The recipe allows for flexibility. You can substitute ingredients to suit your dietary preferences, such as using vegetarian sausage or different types of pasta. It’s adaptable to various tastes.

Perfect for Entertaining:

Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette is an excellent choice for dinner parties or gatherings. It’s an impressive and flavorful dish that can be made in advance, allowing you to spend more time with your guests.

Wine Pairing Possibilities:

The dish pairs well with red wines, enhancing the dining experience. Wine enthusiasts can experiment with different red wine varieties to find their favorite pairing.

Homemade Comfort Food:

This recipe embodies the comfort and warmth of homemade Italian cuisine. It’s the kind of dish that brings people together and evokes feelings of coziness and contentment.


If you have leftovers, this dish reheats well and maintains its delicious flavors. It’s perfect for enjoying the next day for lunch or dinner, saving you time on meal prep.

Customizable Seasonings:

You can adjust the seasonings to your taste. Whether you prefer a bit more garlic, a touch of red pepper flakes for heat, or extra Parmesan cheese, this recipe allows you to personalize it.

Culinary Adventure:

Trying new recipes is an adventure in itself. This dish introduces you to the world of Orecchiette pasta, a unique and fun shape that makes the meal visually appealing.

In summary, the Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors, ease of preparation, and versatility. It’s a go-to option for a satisfying meal that both beginners and experienced cooks can enjoy.


  1. Can I use another type of pasta if I can’t find Orecchiette? Absolutely! While Orecchiette works wonderfully in this recipe, you can use any pasta shape you prefer.
  2. Is there a vegetarian version of this dish? Yes, you can substitute sweet Italian sausage with a meatless alternative like plant-based sausage or mushrooms for a vegetarian version.
  3. Can I use frozen broccoli rabe if fresh isn’t available? While fresh broccoli rabe is ideal, frozen can be used as a substitute. Just thaw and drain it before sautéing.
  4. What’s the best way to reheat leftovers? To reheat, simply place the leftovers in a pan with a touch of olive oil and warm them over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Can I make this dish in advance for a dinner party? Certainly! You can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them just before serving to maintain the freshness of the dish.


In the realm of pasta dishes, Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette stands out as a perfect marriage of flavors and textures. It’s a simple yet satisfying recipe that brings the warmth of Italian cuisine to your table. So, why wait? Grab your apron and give this recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

ⓘ Disclaimer:
Please note that the information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. The author of this article is not an expert. It is important to consult with a qualified professional. The content of this blog post is based on the author’s personal experiences, research, and opinions. nor the author assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences resulting from the use of this information. By reading this blog post, you acknowledge and accept that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional advice.

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