Did I ever tell you that I’m not a huge fan of red sauce over pasta? Mix it with some red pepper flakes and some extra garlic and we might be in business, but in general, I steer clear of it altogether. I DO, however, love pasta and the ability to make a quick meal. Did I also mention that I’m not a fan of cream sauce either? Well, let me tell you that doesn’t leave a girl with a lot of options. So my go-to is usually some sort of light olive oil sauce. Now, you may think “light” and read “flavorless,” but not so. Below is a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis that meets all of the criteria, while packing a powerful punch of flavor. As a side note, I was also pretty excited to be able to use some of the broccoli that’s been growing in my back yard.
2 bunches broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
1 pound orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound turkey Italian-style sausage, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water to cool, saving the cooking water. Bring the reserved cooking water back to a boil.
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into pieces with a spoon, until browned and juices form, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, when the reserved cooking water is boiling, add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Strain the broccoli rabe and add it to the pan with the sausage mixture and toss to coat with the juices. Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir in the Parmesan and serve immediately.