Above: Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe.
A food-obsessed friend recently sent me an email. This is what it said:
We are participating in a collective, TASTY experiment. As such, you
have been invited to be part of a recipe exchange. We hope you will
participate. We have picked those we think would make this fun.
1. Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1
(even if you don’t know him/her). It should be something quick, easy
and without rare ingredients. The best one is the one you know in your
head and can type right now. One you make when you are short of time.
2. After you’ve sent the recipe to the person in position 1 below,
copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1 and put
your name in position 2. Only my and your name should show when you
send your email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy).
You should receive about 36 recipes. It’s fun to see where they come
from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The
turnaround is fast as there are only 2 names on the list and you only
have to do it once.
1. Name of my friend’s friend here, her email
2. Name of my friend
Needless to say, I was on board. After thinking about what I should make, I settled on orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe. It fit the bill for a quick, easy and tasty recipe, and one that’s a go-to for me when I want something good fast and with few ingredients.
After typing up the recipe, I thought I’d share it with the LBC, and perhaps inspire you to undertake an exchange of your own. If you are Italian American and find this an epicly “duh!” dish, please forgive me.
Broccoli rabe with sausage and orecchiette
1 16-oz package of sweet Italian sausage
1 bunch broccoli rabe
1 lb. package of orecchiette pasta
1 cup or so of chicken stock (I like to use low sodium)
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
How to do it:
Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Add about one tablespoon of oil and generously salt. Put a lid on there so it doesn’t take forever to boil.
Rinse the broccoli rabe, trim the ends and, cutting the whole bunch at once, chop it into roughly two- or three-inch pieces.
Heat about two cups of water in a saucepan or frying pan with a lid and, once it’s just about boiling, throw the broccoli rabe in. Cook covered for about five minutes (this takes away some of the bitterness). Set a timer so you can get started on the next step without forgetting to turn off the burner on the broccoli rabe.
Put a large frying pan on medium high heat and add about two tablespoons of olive oil. While it’s heating up, slice open your sausages, discard the casing, and pinch off one-inch pieces of sausage, tossing them into the pan. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally.
Once your water is boiling, dump the pasta in. Set a timer for two minutes less than directed on the package. When it goes off, try the pasta. If it’s al dente, drain, if not, give it another minute.
We’re in the home stretch! After draining your pasta, return it to the pot you cooked it in. Scrape the the sausage and broccoli rabe mix and its greasy goodness into the pot with the pasta. Put the burner on low, and add about a half cup of chicken stock. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. If you think it needs a little more wetness, add another half cup of chicken stock. I’m never really too sure how long to do this, a couple minutes or so, but I’m just trying to let the flavors mingle without drying it out. You can use as much or as little chicken stock as you want.
Bonus: Treasure hunt! Let us know if you can spot the ingredient that is not actually used in this recipe.