Cristina's Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Italian Sausage

Cristina's Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sweet Italian Sausage

(6 servings)

• 2 pounds broccoli rabe
• 4 cups water • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil • 3 cloves garlic, sliced (not too thin) • 1 teaspoon kosher salt • 3 sweet italian sausages • 8 ounces orecchiette • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice • 1 lemon, sliced thin

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut the stems off the broccoli rabe, along with any discolored leaves.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, add the broccoli rabe, and cover. Boil until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse in cool water, and leave to continue to drain for 5 minutes. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press more water out.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet on high heat. Add the olive oil and the garlic, and saute just until the garlic starts to turn golden. Immediately add the broccoli rabe, and mix well. Add the salt and mix again. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the sausages on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes, turning at least three times to ensure even cooking. Remove the sausages from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes before you cut them in 1½ –inch pieces.
  5. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and place it back into the pot you boiled it in. Turn the heat to medium high, add the broccoli rabe, cut-up sausages, and red pepper flakes, and mix well for 1 minute. Add more kosher salt and red pepper flakes if you like, mix in the lemon juice, and garnish with a slice of lemon. Serve immediately.

Garlic Herb Compound Butter

• 2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed into a pasta • 2 teaspoons thyme, stemmed and chopped • 2 teaspoons oregano, stemmed and chopped • 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped • 1 lemon, zested and juiced • ¼ cup parmesan, finely grated • salt and pepper • splash of olive oil

In a stand up mixer (or with a wooden spoon in a bowl) beat butter until smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and beat until fully mixed. Season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Smear on your favorite bread and bake at 425°F until golden brown and melted. Butter will keep in refrigerator for 5 days.

Cristina Cooks Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

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