I had the in-laws over for dinner last night and I wanted to make something simple but hearty and delicious. This Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage dish is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook was the perfect solution. It was easy to make and I made a couple of edits (ok, several) that better suited the ingredients that I had at home (sometimes Ina gets uppity with her ingredients—what is broccoli rabe anyway?).
On Wednesday night, Jacobs had some guys over and I made a Rendezvous sausage plate (just grilled kielbasa sausage with cheese dusted in a barbecue seasoning). It makes for a great appetizer or a dish for a football party. The Rendezvous in Memphis serves it with crackers, peppers and pickles (yum!). I had a bunch of kielbasa left over so I ended up using it in the orecchiette dish the next night. I also couldn’t find orecchiette at my local grocery so I used rotini (guess I should stop calling it an orecchiette dish then). I also used broccoli florets because I had some in the fridge (and because the teenage-employee at Kroger looked at me like I was speaking a different language when I asked him if they had broccoli rabe). I guess that I can officially change this recipe’s name to “Rotini with Broccoli and Kielbasa.” Forget Ina … this recipe has officially become mine (a dumbed down version of Ina’s fancy pants dish).
Rotini with Broccoli and Kielbasa
1/2 pound Kielbasa
1/2 pound hot Kielbasa
1/3 cup good olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans crushed tomatos
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Rotini pasta
2 bunches broccoli
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prick the sausages with a fork and place them on a sheet pan. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once, until just cooked through. Slice 1/2 inch thick and set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset. Add the sausage slices and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pieces are browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the red wine, tomato paste, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and let the mixture simmer over low heat while you prepare the pasta and broccoli.
Bring a very large pot half filled with water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook for 9 minutes exactly. While the pasta is cooking, trim the broccoli to make florets. When the pasta has cooked for 9 minutes, add the broccoli to the pasta and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is crisp-tender. Drain in a large colander, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and add the pasta and broccoli to the pot with the tomato and sausage mixture. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of salt. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid. Taste for seasonings, and serve hot with extra Parmesan on top.
Serve with a Ceaser salad and THIS amazing Smoked Mozzarella Pizza Bread from FoodieCrush.com (one of my favorite food blogs). I have made it twice now and it’s always a big hit!