Orecchiette alla Pugliese
"Orecchiette alla Pugliese is the signature pasta dish of Puglia. I've adapted this version to add more color and flavor to the traditional recipe by cooking the pasta in the same boiling water used to blanch the broccoli rabe. The Crudo Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the final magical touch to make it very authentic!" - Rolando Beramendi
2 250 gr packages Rustichella d'Abruzzo Orecchiette
2 bunches broccoli rabe, carefully washed
1/2 cup Crudo Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 large spicy Italian sausages
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
- After soaking and carefully washing, separate the stem, leaves and florets from the broccoli rabe.
- Set a large pot of water to boil. Add a handful of coarse sea-salt. First add the broccoli stems, and boil for at least 15 minutes. Add the leaves, and boil for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, add the florets and boil for another 5 minutes.
- Remove casing from the sausages. Chop coarsley and cook in a saute' pan over high flame. Cook until crispy. Remove sausage and place over a plate lined with paper towels in order to de-grease completely.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil with the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes until the garlic is golden, but not brown.
- Remove the broccoli rabe from the pot and squeeze dry over the water pot to save all the flavors. Do not discard the water: cook the pasta in it for more flavor.
- Mix the sausage with the garlic olive oil. Add red pepper flakes and mix well.
- Coarsely chop the cooked broccoli rabe and mix into the sausage mixture. Taste for salt and pepper and correct if necessary.
- Once the orecchiette are cooked al dente, toss immediately in the broccoli and sausage sauce and mix well. Add a spinkle of salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve in warm pasta bowls and drizzle with additional Crudo olive oil and enjoy. Traditionally, this pasta is not served topped with grated cheese of any kind.