Orecchiette with Sausage and Rapini

Perfect for any night of the week, this classic Italian pasta dish is both hearty and easy to prepare. Use mild or hot Italian sausages depending on the level of spice you like.


1 pound package orecchiette
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
4 Italian sausages, mild or hot, casing removed
1 head rapini, roughly chopped and blanched
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated or shaved, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Bring large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until they start to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add sausage meat and fry until meat is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add blanched rapini. Sauté until meat is cooked through and rapini is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add drained pasta to skillet and toss to combine. If needed, add a little of the pasta water, to loosen the mixture. Season with salt and pepper and finish with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.