Grab Some Funky Pasta and Chow Down


Sometimes, the decision to make (or not to make) a recipe comes down to cook time. Will I be slaving over this meal for hours or will I be able to eat within 30 minutes?


I wanted an easy recipe this week—less cook time and fewer dirty dishes—as well as a dish that reheated well for lunches and dinners throughout the week.  Thankfully, Ina Garten’s cookbook had me covered.  This week, I made Ina’s orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage.

½ pound sweet Italian pork sausages

½ pound hot Italian pork sausages

1/3 cup good olive oil

6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 (14.5 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes

½ cup dry red wine

¼ cup tomato paste

1 pound dried orecchiette pasta  (I used radiatore)

2 bunches broccoli rabe (2 to 2 ½ pounds total) (variation: use broccolini)

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

kosher salt

black pepper



First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

While the oven was preheating, I placed the sausages on a sheet pan and pricked them with a fork.  I roasted them in the oven for 15 minutes (if they aren’t cooked through, cook for an additional 5 minutes), turning them once.  When they were done, I sliced them up and set aside for the next step…

Next, I heated the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and added the sausage slices—sauteing for 5 minutes.  When the pieces were browned, I added in the garlic and cooked for 1 more minute.  Then, I added the tomatoes, tomato paste, the red wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  I let the mix simmer while I started the pasta…

In another large pot, I brought the water to a boil and added in the pasta. While the pasta was cooking, I prepped the greens.


I used broccolini because I could not find broccoli rabe at the store. Whatever green you decide to use, trim off the stem (just below the leaves) and slice the “leafy” part into 2-in pieces. After the pasta was cooked (the radiatore took about 5 minutes), I added the broccolini to the pasta and cooked for an additional 2 minutes. (If you use broccoli rabe, cook it with the pasta for 2 to 3 minutes.)

When the pasta was el-dente and the broccolini was tender, I drained the contents into a colander. I also saved some of the liquid (about ½ cup).

Next, I added the cooked pasta and broccolini to the pot with the meat and the sauce. Ina suggests adding in 1 teaspoon of salt, but taste first. Feel free to add in some of the saved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry.  Add pepper, salt, and Parmesan cheese to taste.

In my finished product (the picture below), it looks like the tomato sauce is non-existent. Trust me, it is there.  I like to allow pasta to soak up its sauce so I left the contents to rest in the pot for several minutes before I started serving. Perfection.

This dish is flavorful and moist. It will make for tasty, reheated lunches.



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