Here is another one of my mouth-watering pasta recipes to include in your weekly repertoire. It is a classic southern Italian dish from the Puglia region. Some people use Pecorino Romano cheese and hot Italian sausage. This my variation of an easy-to-follow recipe and super tasty. If you like spicy food, I recommend using the hot Italian sausage to add some kick to this dish. Let’s have some fun in Gina’s Kitchen.
Serves: 6 -8 Level of difficulty: Easy to medium
1 lb Orecchiette, pasta shape (little ears)
3 lbs. sweet Italian sausage with fennel, cut up in pieces
In a medium-sized pot, boil the sausages for about 15 minutes. Drain well. Add 1/4 cup olive oil in same pot, and sear them on each side until they obtain a nice golden brown color. You may have to this in 2 batches. Remove, cut each link in 2-3 pieces. Set aside.
In the meanwhile, in another pot, bring salted pasta water to boil, and cook according to package directions. 5 minutes prior to cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe and cook in same water. This will save you time and less cleaning. Drain well. Drizzle with a little oil to avoid clumping. Set aside.
In an extra large skillet, on medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup olive oil, sautee the garlic, deglaze with chicken broth, cook for 1 minute, add the pasta with the broccoli rabe, sausages, season with salt & pepper, and finish with the cheese. Add more chicken broth if necessary. Lower the heat, stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Drizzle with olive oil and serve at once.
Wine pairing suggestions: A chilled Gavi, Pinot Grigio, Verdicchio, or a Riesling if you are using the hot Italian sausage. Always cook with love and your food will love you back!
Recipe written by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
Photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for FoodiewineloverFoodiewinelover
My Food, Wine, & Travel Lifestyles
There are literally a thousand ways to make pasta, and I love to create dishes using different pasta shapes. Sometimes, I plan ahead, but there are other times, I try to use whatever I have in the fridge and in the pantry. It’s a bit challenging but it can be fun. I also get inspired while I am shopping, and I see the different ingredients. I start visualizing how I can combine them together in a dish. Today’s recipe is a perfect example of that. I grabbed the ingredients at the grocery store and put them together very quickly. I fed my family, and everyone was smiling while savoring the pasta. Aglio e Olio in Italian means garlic and oil, and traditionally used with spaghetti. I developed this dish, and take full credit for the recipe and the method of cooking.
Serves: 6-8 Level of difficulty: Easy – Medium
Time: from start to finish 35 minutes (fast-paced) allow yourself 45 minutes in total. You will be juggling but you can do it, I promise you. You will have the oven and two burners going at one point. Just pay attention, and do not use your cell phone. (LOL)
1 – 16 oz pasta Gigi Flowers, (Flora’s Brand) *
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb of pancetta, chopped *
1/3 cup of garlic, chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
sea salt and pepper to taste (pepper is optional)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 head of broccoli rabe, rough chopped
1/4 cup pasta water (reserve)
1/2 -3/4 Grana Padano cheese for grating *Preparation:
1) Place tomatoes on a tray, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree F. oven for 30 -35 minutes. Give them one good stir, at the half-way point.
2) In the meanwhile, bring the salted pasta water to a boil.
3) On another burner, in a very large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat 3 tbsp. olive oil, sautee the pancetta for 2 minutes, add the garlic. Once you smell the aroma, set this pan aside. (away from the burner)
4) The pasta should be in the boiling water by now. 5-7 minutes prior to pasta being done, drop the broccoli rabe in there to avoid using another pot. Check for doneness, and drain the pasta and broccoli rabe. Be sure to reserve some pasta water.
5) Place the large skillet with pancetta and garlic back on the burner on very low flame, drop the rest of the olive oil, the pasta, 1/4 cup pasta water, broccoli rabe, roasted tomatoes, grated cheese. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Season with more salt if necessary. Mix well, and serve at once.
1) Use any short pasta you have in your pantry
2) you can substitute pancetta with bacon
3) Use as much or as little cheese as you want. You can also use a different cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano, (parmesan)
4) Always cook pasta according to package directions, unless you like it al dente. In that case, deduct 2 minutes from the cooking time. The best way to know if the pasta is cooked to your liking is simply taste it.
As you can see from my notes, pasta is very versatile and can be prepared according to your taste. You can use any meats, pasta shapes or veggies of your choice, and stamp your name on it!
Wine suggestions: Any white wine of your choice. Make sure it’s nicely chilled but not overly so you can taste the aromas of the wine.
Recipe developed by Gina over at Foodiewinelover
Photos: By Gina for Foodiewinelover
Buon Appetito From My Kitchen to Yours!
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
Broccoli Rabe also known as Rapini is a green cruciferous vegetable. It has a pungent flavor, slightly bitter, but very healthy for you. It is particularly associated with Southern Italian cuisine. You have to acquire a taste for it, but once you do, you will love it. It is delicious with Italian sausage, or by itself as a side dish. Today, I will share with you, a very simple method of cooking, one that will help preserve its beautiful greenish color. This method will also help retain its vitamins.
1 head of Broccoli rabe
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1) Wash the broccoli rabe thoroughly. Chop off the thick stems at the bottom, and discard them. Rough chop the leaves and buds. Set aside.
2) Over medium-high heat, in a medium sized pot, heat up olive oil, sautee the garlic until it releases its aromas. Drop the chopped broccoli rabe, give it a couple of stirs. Cover and let it steam in its own juices for about 4-5 minutes. Voila! You will have perfectly cooked Broccoli Rabe. If you overcook it, it will be wilted, and not have the same health benefits.
So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....