Orecchiette With Sausage and Rapini

6 Servings
45 min

Orecchiette with Sausage and Rapini. The most perfect Italian pasta dish, by far.

Italian's have a knack for pairing bitter greens with many of their dishes. Think radicchio, kale, and of course rapini. There is something so satisfying when you can make the star of the dish a vegetable, although the sausage and pasta don't hurt. What's great about this dish is that the sauce is so simple too - just cheese, olive oil and pasta water. You can't go wrong!

The combination of the slightly bitter rapini (broccoli rabe), TONS of garlic, spicy sausage and salty parmesan cheese make this dish insanely addictive. You won’t be able to put your fork down...so make extra!

Orecchiette With Sausage and Rapini
Recipe details
  • 6  Servings
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 45 min
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  • 1 medium bunch of rapini
  • 16 oz of orecchiette
  • 2 spicy sausages, 1/4 lb each
  • 1 mild/fennel sausage, 1/4 each
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 tbsp of olive, separated (for cooking and serving)

Prep and blanch the rapini. Boil in hot water for 1-3 minutes (For thin rapini, 1 minute. For thick rapini, 2-3 minutes) until bright green. Transfer rapini to bowl filled with ice water. Once cooled, transfer to salad spinner or towels to dry.
Take sausages out of casing. Break them up a little bit with your hands/spoon. In a large sauté pan brown sausage until cooked through with lots of brown bits! Transfer to a plate/bowl when cooked.
Boil orecchiette to al dente. Reserve some of the cooking water before straining.
In same pan that cooked the sausage, add 2 tbsp of olive to pan and sauté garlic for 30 seconds. Add in rapini and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in cooked pasta and sausage. Stir to combine.
To bring everything together, add in rest of olive oil, some pasta water, and parmesan cheese.
Stir to combine, serve, and enjoy!
  • Make sure your pan is HOT. You want your meat to brown, not grey.