Recipe of the Week - Orecchiette with Italian Sausage, Cima di Rapa & Sage

In order to keep this blog interesting we will post a recipe from Cass' large repertoire.  Most recipes will feature seasonal produce except for the more Mediterranean ingredients needed.

We use Haye Farm Italian sausages for this recipe - a collaborative product between Haye and ourselves.  The secret seasoning mix has been developed by Cass, our chef director.  Available to purchase in our shop, Brassica Mercantile in Beaminster.

Cime di rapa, or rapini also know as broccoli rabe in the US, is a bitter green leafy vegetable, it has small heads that resemble sprouting broccoli and is a descendant of the turnip family. It grows very easily in this country and is becoming popular with organic growers appearing in vegetable boxes or at farmers markets. The orecchiette and the cime di rapa found in this dish are both typical of Puglian cooking. If you cant find any cime di rapa then substitute for cavolo nero. An aged pecorino such as a pecorino fossa would work very well with this dish although a decent Parmesan Reggiano would also be ok.

Orecchiette with sausage, cime di rapa and sage
Serves 4
350g dried orecchiette
4 x very good quality fresh Italian sausages
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
6 sage leaves
olive oil
black pepper
400g cime di rapa
aged pecorino

  • Remove the skins from the sausages and break up into pieces, heat up a large sauté pan or thick bottomed pan ( ideally with sloping sides and a handle)  add a few good glugs of olive oil, add the sausages and fry for a 5 minutes breaking them up with a wooden spoon, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 more minutes, add garlic cloves, sage and a glass of white wine, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid
  • Wash the Cime di rapa and remove the ends, shred the leaves and most of the stalks. Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds then drain well and cool down under cold water, squeeze out and excess water then Add to the sausages and cook on low heat for 5 minutes stirring regularly. The sauce is now ready
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil and salt well. Cook the orecchiette according the packet instructions but 9-10 minutes should be about right.
  • Drain the pasta remembering to keep some of the cooking liquid, toss the pasta with cooked sausage along with a few ladles of the cooking liquid, add another few glugs of your best olive oil, lots of ground black pepper. And check seasoning

The tossing part is very important as this will emulsify the fats, oil and cooking water to coat the pasta.  Grate some pecorino into the pasta and toss a few more times.  Serve with more grated pecorino on the side .


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