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Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

We cut calories and fat in this Italian dish by reducing the amount of pasta but bumped up the flavor by using extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, and a generous amount of broccoli rabe.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Serves 4
Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2007


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 bunches (2 pounds total) broccoli rabe, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 2 precooked Italian chicken or turkey sausages (6 ounces total), cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli rabe, and cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Using a wire skimmer or small sieve, transfer to a colander set over a bowl to catch drips (a few bits may remain in cooking water); set aside. Return water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage; cook, without turning, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add broccoli rabe, vinegar, and garlic. Cook until broccoli rabe is tender, scraping up browned bits in skillet, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add pasta and oil to broccoli rabe mixture. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Serve.

Cook's Note

Broccoli rabe is a slightly bitter-tasting cousin to cabbage and is a good match for Italian recipes, especially pasta. Quickly boiling it tones down its bite without losing many nutrients.

Reviews (5)

  • Ecriste 8 Oct, 2013

    Delicious but after reading other reviews I modified the recipe as well. I used fresh ground turkey sausage and chicken stock instead of vinegar. I also stirred in some fresh Parmesan. Will definitely make again

  • wineanddiner 9 Feb, 2011

    Pretty good, however i used fresh sausage (and much more than the recipe calls for) and added cayenne pepper with the pasta to spice it up. Overall a pretty tasty dinner.

  • erinday79 28 Dec, 2010

    I added about a cup of chicken stock towards the end of the cooking because without it, this recipe is a little dry. Overall really yummy and super easy. Even my three year old gobbled it up!

  • WildLime 4 Jan, 2009

    Substitute 1/4 c. chicken broth (use 99% fat free to keep calories in check) for the vinegar and you have a winner. For anyone willing to forge ahead with the original recipe, I would suggest reducing the amount of vinegar to no more than 1 tablespoon - 2 is way too much! A few shavings of fresh parmesan finished this dish off nicely.

  • farrington72 30 Dec, 2008

    We did not care for this recipe at all. However, it could be that I am just not a fan of broccoli rabe. Too bitter and the vinegar added a kind of strange flavor to it. My hubby said something was "off" about it and he is usually not too picky. A waste of the good chicken sausage I bought.

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