Flava In Ya Ear Orecchiette

This warm and earthy orecchiette pasta is tossed with spicy Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, and sun-dried tomatoes. You can throw it together in less than half an hour and it is amazing the next day for leftovers. Orecchiette is a popular pasta in Southern Italy and the name itself means “little ears”. Naturally, we knew we had to create a flavor-charged Craig Mack pasta. Flava in Ya Ear Orecchiette has about as many dynamic, balanced flavors as the remix of the single back in ‘94 featuring Biggie, LL, Rampage, and Busta. Here comes the brand new flava in ya ear...and ya tummy too.

 
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO plus excess for drizzy drizzlin’

  • 1 lb bulk hot Italian sausage (one time for no case)

  • 1/3 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

  • 5-6 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, rinsed and trimmed

  • 1 lb quality orecchiette pasta

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

  • grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, to garnish


METHOD:

  1. Stack broccoli rabe leafs and roughly chop into large pieces. Set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  3. Heat a large skillet with EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the spicy sausage, breaking it into small pieces as you add it to the pan. You can check your temperature by seeing if sausage sizzles when it hits the pan. If not, adjust. Brown the sausage, breaking any large pieces up with a wooden spoon, for 4-5 minutes, or until mostly cooked through and evenly caramelized on all sides.

  4. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet, and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped garlic to the skillet and saute, stirring constantly, for just under a minute.

  5. Now add the chopped broccoli rabe to the boiling water and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes, until just wilted. Use tongs to remove the blanched broccoli rabe from the water – do not discard the water. Reserve it to cook the pasta.

  6. Add broccoli rabe to the skillet along with the sausage. You will need to do this in batches.

  7. Place the skillet over low low heat to keep warm, stirring occasionally, and season to taste with salt-n-pepa.

  8. Bring the pot of blanching water back to a boil, if it is not already. It will be slightly green from blanching the vegetables - no fear (this won’t affect the pasta itself). Cook the orecchiette pasta until al dente, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.

  9. Scoop and drain the pasta and add directly to the skillet to finish blending all the flavors together.

  10. Add the red pepper flakes and toss to combine. Serve immediately and top with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

Susanna Arntzz