cooking homemade meals

Orecchiette alla Barese

Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe


After trying this dish at one of our favorite Italian restaurants here in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego, I decided to recreate this recipe for Orecchiette alla Barese as it is called in the restaurant.

The combination of sausage with the broccoli rabe, spinach, garlic, and tomatoes is amazing. I recommend using a mild Italian sausage so the hot spices don't overwhelm your dish.


<< Back to Soups and Pastas Recipes

Ingredients / Directions:     Printable PDF

  • 3 links Italian-style Sausage (Mild)
  • Orecchiette Pasta (2 cups uncooked)
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • Spinach, handful
  • Broccoli Rabe (or Broccolini), one bunch
  • Olive Oil
  • Basil seasoning
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Black Pepper
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 1-2 minutes, until crisp tender. Move 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. Once the broccoli is cool, cut the broccoli into 2-inch pieces before placing in the skillet.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook for 10 minutes, turning often. Do not cook the sausage completely (leave a little pink in center). Once sausage is returned to the skillet in a later step, it will cook more with the other ingredients. Move the sausage to a plate and cut into bite-size pieces. Drain the grease but leave some sausage drippings in the skillet for flavor.
  • When the reserved water boils again, add the orecchiette pasta and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In the large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes; move cooked garlic to a plate and set aside. Next, add the spinach and cook for about 1-2 minutes; move spinach to the plate with the garlic. Add the onions to the skillet and cook about 2 minutes.
  • Over medium-low heat, return all ingredients (sausage, onions, garlic, spinach, broccoli rabe pieces, tomatoes, and pasta) back in to the skillet, stirring often. Sprinkle with basil, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese.


Get recipes right in your inbox. Sign up now!