Ore-what? I know. Weird word. Even with the translation guides online I can’t figure out how to say it. But I did learn it means “little ears” in Italian, and explains the shape of these unique little pasta’s.

Hubs sometimes brings home random ingredients from the grocery store – he calls them my “iron chef” ingredients – and wants me to make something with them. Our wholesale club had 2-lb packages of this pasta on sale, and he picked it as my ingredient. I immediately went to the internet, and this type of recipe seemed pretty common to use with this shape of pasta.

And it was very, very good. It was similar to fire island ziti (without the tomatoes) but DH said he liked it much better. The little ear shapes really pull the sauce in and hold it – it was very flavorful and fun to eat.

We also had broccoli on hand, so I subbed that for the broccoli rabe.

Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

(Gina’s Skinny Recipes)

  • 1 large bunch broccoli rabe, washed and 2" trimmed off stems (or sub broccoli)
  • 1 lb lean chicken sausage, removed from casing
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 oz orecchiette
  • 1 cup low sodium fat free chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Cut broccoli rabe in quarters. Bring a large pot of water to boil. When it comes to a rolling boil, add broccoli rabe. Blanch for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, drain and set aside in a colander (Same instructions for broccoli – if you don’t like your broccoli crunchy, leave it in 2 or 3 minutes more).

Re-fill pot with water and salt for the pasta and bring back to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente.

In a large deep sauté pan, brown sausage on medium heat, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks. When completely cooked through set aside in a dish or a bowl.

Increase heat to medium high, add olive oil to the pan; when hot add garlic and cook until golden (don’t burn).

Return broccoli rabe to the pan, mix well with the garlic and oil, season with salt and pepper and cook about a minute.

Return cooked sausage to the pan and mix well.

Drain pasta and add to the broccoli rabe. Reduce heat and stir for about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if using. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and toss another 30 seconds so that everything is mixed well and the pasta is coated with the sauce. Remove from heat and add to a large pasta dish or divide equally between 6 pasta bowls. Serve with additional grated cheese if you desire.

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