Skip to main content

Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage



Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage


Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil from The Awaiting Table


Fresh Orecchiette Drying on Parchment 

I went to Puglia in October with an adventurous group of fellow food and wine lovers. I took a week long class on Italian food and wine of the region at The Awaiting Table, learned how to make homemade orecchiette in a castle and never looked back. I've been making Orecchiette Weekly for about 9 months now and I'm getting pretty good at it.  We love this classic pasta with the broccoli rabe and sausage.  I made it last night on a Thursday but generally it's a weekend dinner served with a solid Italian red wine.
Our local butcher makes delicious spicy Italian chicken sausages so that's what I use, the broccoli rabe and the best Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano) are always at the market.  We also have good extra virgin olive oil, fresh Italian parsley and organic durum wheat semolina for the orecchiette.  So, what am I supposed to do? I make the pasta.  Sometimes I make myself an Aperol Spritz, that's always a good idea.

I highly recommend taking a class or classes at The Awaiting Table in Lecce, especially if you're interested in traveling to learn about  regional Southern Italian food and wine.  Also recommended is their special Italian extra virgin olive oil which they sell from their website.   Something to look forward to after Corona virus quarantine.  We arrived in Rome, spent a weekend enjoying Rome and then took the train to Lecce, aren't we happy to have travel memories of our life before covid.

Recipe for Orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage
makes 4-6 servings

Make the Orecchiette 

1 & 1/2 cups Durum Wheat Semolina, plus extra for the board 
1/3 cup barley flour
Scant cup water

Place the flours on a heavy pastry board and mix together, place the extra off to the right side.
Make a well in the center of the flours and pour in the water, don't let it spill out.
Using your finger carefully pull the flours into the water and swirl around creating a paste.  
When the flours are all mixed in the flour begin kneading the mixture into a ball and a soft dough will form, continue kneading until smooth and springy.  Adding extra flour  a little at a time if the dough is too sticky.

Don't add salt to the pasta dough, it goes in the cooking water.

Divide the dough into four pieces using a bench scraper.
One at a time roll the dough piece into a rope, not too thin, not too fat, about 1/3" wide
Cut 1/3" pieces of dough off the ropes, using a bench scraper, set aside.
Form the orecchiette with a table knife, it should have a slightly serrated edge.
Press each piece down with the knife and scrape across the board, flip the piece over on your thumb and form a round shape.  Try to make your shape size consistent.  Place orecchiette on parchment paper, two half sheets if you make all the dough.
Repeat with all the dough pieces.
Let pasta dry on the parchment while you make the sauce.

Makes enough pasta with the sauce for 4-6 people.

Make the Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage 

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
8-10 ounces spicy Italian sausage, pork or chicken, casings removed
1 large bunch broccoli rabe, washed, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
Fresh Orecchiette,  drying on parchment
Parmigiano Reggiano, a nice chunk grated for pasta and additional for serving, make a big pile
Flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped for serving, chop at least  half the bunch

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, set aside.
Meanwhile, bring salted pasta water to a boil and blanch the broccoli rabe, about two minutes.  Remove from the water and add to the sausage.
Return the water to a boil and add the Orecchiette.  Cook and stir, when the water returns to the boil cook for about four minutes.  Drain, reserve at least 1 cup of cooking water.
Add the Orecchiette to the sausage mixture, add cheese and some of the cooking water, check seasonings.
Serve with grated cheese, chopped parsley and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.














Comments

Popular posts from this blog

pear jam with saffron infused honey and cardamom

  Pear Jam with Saffron Infused Honey and Cardamom The summer after high school I worked sorting Bartlett pears at the Scotts Valley Fruit Exchange in Lake County California.  I thought I would never touch or eat another pear again in my life. But, here I am years years later making pear jam in my kitchen with pears, honey and saffron grown in Lake County.  A few weeks ago My husband and I went to visit friends in Kelseyville at their finca, they generously supplied me with the pears from their orchard-Finca Castelero- for my jam.  I will never forget getting up early in the morning and riding my bike across the valley from my cousin's house to work a long hot day sorting pears.  I remember thinking whoever came up with the idea of creating a cooperative to sort, pack and send pears from family farms, including my cousin's family farm on what is now called Hendricks road, to markets all over the country really had a good idea!  I never looked at pears in the grocery store the s

alfajores de tarragon and chives

 well here we are again Christmas ­čÄä and covid. This time with a side of alfajores on a fish plate.  Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie or cookies?  As long as the flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar keep flowing- I will be baking Christmas cookies, might even slide over the December 25 cutoff and into January this year. We moved in October.  After a week long getaway to Bandon Dunes, Oregon.  We came back to a new one level, slightly smaller inside and outside new to us home in our same town of Novato.  I think we have electricity gremlins though.  I'm ready to invite my electrician to Christmas dinner since he's here every week.  The latest problem a doorbell chime that almost melted down after continuous buzzing for a day, he's looking for a short in our wiring-don't like the sound of that.  He found it and fixed it, hoorah. We have a ton of unpacked boxes in our new big white garage.  My husband Scott ordered a backyard studio shed for his home office and on

potato salad with homemade tartar sauce, mustard and fresh dill

  further explorations into the zen of making potato salad  I never know where my love of mustard and dill will take me but playing together in a potato salad is a nice selection on the road of top ten hits headed to mealtime.  It's summertime and that's a time for potato salads and homemade pickles but showing up together in a salad -now we are talking about good stuff.  Dijon mustard and fresh dill in a creamy tartar sauce combined with warm lemony virgin olive oil coated  red potatoes cut with the likes of fragrant pickle brine, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar -waking up all those acidic taste zones.  I'm happy with my potato salad concoction and will serve it with just about anything we grill these days, like tonight's butcher made chicken and beef kabobs- yes bring on a bowl of potato salad straight from the fridge-all the work is done ahead in the morning while the house is still cool.  I may have to slice up a cold watermelon, throw together a grilled corn ar