- 10 ounces orecchiette
- 1 cup pasta water — water used to cook pasta
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Crushed red pepper flakes — optional
- 1 large bunch broccoli rabe, washed and quartered with 2 inches trimmed off stems
- 1 pound lean chicken sausage, removed from casing
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add broccoli rabe. Blanch for 1 1/2-2 minutes, drain and set aside in a colander.
- Refill pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.
- In a large, deep sauté pan, brown the sausage on medium heat, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. When sausage is completely cooked through, set it aside in a dish or a bowl.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil to the pan. When hot, add garlic and cook until golden brown.
- Return broccoli rabe to the pan, mix well with the garlic and oil, season with salt and pepper and cook for about a minute. Return cooked sausage to the pan and mix well.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the broccoli rabe. Reduce heat and stir for about 30 seconds. Add saved pasta water, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if being used. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and toss for another 30 seconds so that everything is mixed well, and the pasta is coated with sauce.
- Remove from heat and add to a large pasta dish or divide equally among 6 pasta bowls. Serve with additional grated cheese, if desired.