Rao's recipe for orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage


  • 1 bag (17.5 ounce) of Rao’s Homemade Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1/4 cup Rao’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, a combination of hot and sweet according to your taste, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, cleaned
  • 1 cup broccoli rabe water (see below)
  • freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)


  • Remove any tough outer or damaged leaves from all broccoli rabe. Cut off stems and tear leaves into large pieces (about 3 to 4 inches). Place broccoli rabe in a deep saucepan with cold water covering it by about 2 inches.
  • Bring water just to a simmer over high heat. As soon as bubbles appear at the sides of the pan, remove from heat and drain cooking water. (Reserve rabe cooking water.)
  • Immediately place broccoli rabe in cold water to stop the cooking process. Once cool, drain well in a colander and pat dry. Cover with a damp cloth and refrigerate until ready to add to dish.
  • Cook Rao’s Homemade Orecchiette Pasta in rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain Orecchiette.
  • While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, stir in garlic.
  • Add the sausages and sauté until meat is cooked.
  • Add cooked broccoli rabe to sausage. Add rabe water, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Raise heat and cook until sauce is hot.
  • Return drained Orecchiette to the pot. Place over medium-high heat and stir in 3/4 cup of broccoli rabe and sausage sauce.
  • Toss together for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into a large serving platter or bowl.
  • Spoon remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese.

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