In honor of my dad….a signature dish from his place of birth, the Puglia region of Italy.
To be specific, he was born in Santeramo in Colle, Provincia di Bari, Puglia, Italy.
Recipe: serves 4
1 pound orecchiette ( a Puglia pasta, named for the shape it resembles, “little ears”).
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, meat removed from casings and crumbled.
2 pounds broccoli-rabe, cleaned and roughly cut
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (can add more to taste)
1/4 tsp. of salt or to taste
1/4 cup grated pecorino romano or parmigiano cheese.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, heavy skillet with fitted lid. Add the garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the orecchiette and cook until al dente.
- Meanwhile, add the sausage meat to the oil and garlic. Cook, stirring about 5 minutes, or until meat is browned.
- Add to the broccoli-rabe to the meat, along with 1 cup pasta water, 1/4 tsp. of salt, and the pepper flakes.
- Cover pan and steam for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove cover and cook over high heat for 3 minutes or so, until the liquids are slightly reduced.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, and toss gently.
- Sprinkle on half the cheese, toss again and then add remaining cheese over the pasta.
- Serve immediately and pass more grated cheese if desired.
** You can eliminate the sausage by cooking the broccoli rabe in a large pot of salted water. Remove it by using a slotted spoon. Squeeze as much water out of the broccoli-rabe as possible. Then cook the orecchiette in the same water. Add it all to the pan of sautéed garlic, red pepper, and oil, and toss with the cheese.