Brent Wagner
Up & Out

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta

For me, pasta is a love language when shared with someone important to you. This is hands down our favorite pasta dish. Make sure you use the best Greek Kalamata olives if possible; it will make the recipe.
<span-key>2 tbsp</span-key> <span-value>extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling</span-value> <span-key>12-16 oz</span-key> <span-value>hot Italian pork sausage, casings removed</span-value> <span-key>½ cup</span-key> <span-value>pitted and drained Kalamata olives, roughly chopped</span-value> <span-key>⅓ cup</span-key> <span-value>oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped</span-value> <span-key>5-6</span-key> <span-value>large garlic cloves, finely chopped</span-value> <span-key>¼ tsp</span-key> <span-value>dried red pepper flakes</span-value> <span-key>1</span-key> <span-value>large bunch (roughly 1 lb) broccoli rabe (rapini), roughly chopped</span-value> <span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Kosher salt</span-value> <span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Freshly ground black pepper</span-value> <span-key>12 oz</span-key> <span-value>orecchiette or other textured short pasta</span-value> <span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving</span-value>

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Ingredients
Directions

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<span-p>
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the sausage, breaking it into small pieces as you add it to the hot pan. Brown the sausage until mostly cooked through and evenly caramelized.
Add the olives and sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the chopped garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the chopped broccoli rabe to the boiling water, and blanch for 5 minutes, or until just wilted. (Do not discard the water; you’ll be using it to cook the pasta!)
Using a skimmer, a fine-meshed sieve, or a large slotted spoon, transfer the blanched broccoli rabe to the skillet. Stir mixture together until evenly combined. Keep the skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, to continue to gently sauté and keep warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring the pot of blanching water back to a boil.
Cook the pasta until al dente, reserving a cup or so of the pasta cooking water.
Scoop and drain the pasta and add it directly to the skillet to finish cooking.
Gently toss the pasta with the sausage-and-broccoli-rabe mixture, adding reserved pasta water to thin if desired, until evenly combined.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a light drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil (if desired).</span-p>

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