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5.31.2012

Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

I ask you, what's better than a lazy stroll with the one you love through Philadelphia's 9th Street Italian Market on a warm, sunny day?


And I'll tell you.

When your lazy stroll results in fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and house-made pasta...


...beautiful, bright broccoli rabe...

...several bunches of broccoli, 5 vine-ripened tomatoes, 3 lbs of apples, a pint of blueberries, 2 lbs of sweet cherries, 3 bell peppers, and 5 limes for $15... 

...anise, cherry walnut, and almond biscotti...

...rounding out the day with lunch and ice cream at the Reading Terminal Market...



...and a Brent Celek (Philadelphia Eagles starting tight end) sighting.  I will tell you that he was very friendly, very tall, very muscle-y, and really into the free samples of Buffalo cheddar and Kalamata olives.  My husband will tell you that he was very friendly, very tall, very muscle-y, and that they fed each other olives and exchanged phone numbers.  I have no physical proof of either version of this story.

To be honest, I wasn't as excited about meeting Brent Celek as I was about securing my half-pound of fresh Parm and getting in on some of that Kalamata olive action Brent was hogging.  It was a day for market-strolling and great food, clearly, but for my husband this was a day for a pretty big celebrity run-in.

Which got me thinking...what celebrity could I bump into at an Italian marketplace who would make me obsessed with "maybe I should have said" the entire ride home?

Hands down, Giada De Laurentiis.

One glimpse of her giant head and I'd be stuttering over my hello.  Alas, no short Italian chef sightings for me, so I'll settle with turning my purchases into one of her genius Italian recipes.

This pasta with turkey sausage and broccoli rabe is a house favorite.  My mom really does it best, and I can only hope to come in a close second.  Orecchiette means "little ears" in Italian, and the shape of the pasta is perfect for trapping the zesty sauce.  Lean turkey sausage and gorgeous, fresh broccoli rabe make this a complete meal. 


Orecchiette with Sausage
and
Broccoli Rabe
Adapted from a recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 bunches broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
1 lb orecchiette pasta
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb turkey sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/8 c fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Preparation:
Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minute.  Immediately drain, and run under ice-cold water, reserving all of the cooking liquid.  Bring the reserved cooking liquid back to a boil.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage, and cook, stirring to crumble, until browned, about 12 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.


Meanwhile, when the reserved water has come up to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain.
Strain the broccoli rabe, and add it to the skillet with the sausage mixture, and toss to coat.


Add the pasta and Parmesan cheese, and toss well. Serve immediately.


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