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Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Orecchiette Pasta

A simple weeknight meal that’s bursting with flavor, this Orecchiette Pasta dish will become one recipe that’s on repeat. Flavorful sausage, sauteed broccoli rabe, cheese, and a rich dressing is simple and delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: The Kitchen Prep


  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mild Italian chicken {or pork} sausage removed from casing
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cup Italian cheese blend of your choice plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 pinch Red pepper flakes for sprinkling if desired
  • ¼ cup lemon juice ½ lemon


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions or desired doneness. {Mine took about 12 minutes.} When the pasta is cooked, scoop it out with a slotted spoon into a bowl while you cook the broccoli rabe.
  • Bring the pasta water back up to a rolling boil add the broccoli rabe. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the leaves have wilted down. Drain, saving about 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water, and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage (removed from casings), and break up with a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute, then add blanched broccoli rabe to the pan and saute for another 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the pan, along with the butter. Toss everything to combine.
  • Add cheese and a few tablespoons of pasta water and mix until the cheese is melted and the pasta is coated.
  • Before serving, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over top of the pasta and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and extra cheese if desired. Serve hot.