Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Orecchiette with Sweet Italian Sausage & Broccoli

A traditional dish from Italy's Puglia region, orecchiette, which means 'little ears,' Orecchiette con la Cima di Rapa e Salsiccia is often made with robust rapini and fresh Italian sausage, however this Italian-inspired recipe by Emeril Lagasse features small florets of fresh broccoli which are quickly blanched in the boiling pasta water used for cooking the orecchiette, and removed while it is still crisp-tender. A wonderfully flavoured garlic, lemon and anchovy olive oil sauce is whisked together while the pasta is cooking and added to the sautéed sausage and pasta, along with a cup of pasta water, for a light and easy pasta that is soul satisfyingly delicious. 

Orecchiette with Broccoli and Sweet Italian Sausage

Serves 4

1 lb orrechiette pasta

1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup white wine
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Parmesan or Pecorino, freshly grated, for serving
1 bunch chopped chives, for garnish

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. In last 2 minutes of cooking, add broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp-tender. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and broccoli.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, anchovies, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Add the sausage to the pot and cook over medium-high, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes, adding some white wine to prevent the sausage from sticking if necessary. Remove from the heat, return the pasta and broccoli to the pot with the cooked sausage, and add the oil mixture. Toss well to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats the pasta nicely. Serve sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino and a flurry of chopped chives.

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