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Orechiette with Sausage and Spicy Tomato Broccolini Sauce

Orechiette with Sausage and Spicy Tomato Broccolini Sauce
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         Cutting down on carbs is likely the fastest way to lose weight. Candidly, cutting down on alcohol is likely even faster but since that is not going to happen, I’ll stick with cutting carbs.  But anyone who has ever lived in Italy–never mind lived, set foot in Italy is more like it– cannot envision life without pasta.  But recently, I’ve discovered that if you cut down on pasta portions, you won’t feel the least bit deprived.  You’ll likely enjoy the flavor of the sauce even more simply because there’s more of it and less of pasta.  Most recipes for 4 servings call for one pound of pasta.  Cut that back to 3/4 cup of dried pasta per person and you’ll have more than enough.  Then there’s the magic of the pasta water.  Without adding more oil or cream, pasta water adds creaminess to any sauce without adding a fraction of the calories.  And finally, if you amp up the flavor of the sauce, you’ll feel satisfied with a smaller portion.  All of which I did in this terrific, quick pasta that you can have on the table in about 30 minutes.   


Orechiette is one of my all time favorite pastas.  It means ‘little ears’ because that’s what it looks like.  Shaped like tiny bowls, Orechiette hold sauce brilliantly.  The recipe for the sauce is hardly new.  Variations can be found all over the place.  What makes this different is that every step of the way, I added flavor.  In lieu of plain canned plum tomatoes, I went for diced tomatoes with green chiles. In went two kinds of Italian sausage, both hot and sweet.  Lot of garlic, some dry red wine and concentrated tomato paste all added to the sense of eating something substantial even without all that pasta.  You can make this dish in two big pots.  In one you boil the pasta and the brocollini and in the other you cook the sausage, tomatoes and garlic to which you add the broccolini, the cooked pasta and some Parmigiano cheese.   I made this for two but the recipe is for 4.  And here it is:


2 thoughts on “Orechiette with Sausage and Spicy Tomato Broccolini Sauce”

  • This is making me hungry! I love the combination of sausage and broccolini in tomato sauce… I've also used chorizo and/or broccoli rabe as alternative options – it always turns out great! 🙂

  • Thank you! There are so many variations of this dish and all of them are really worth cooking. My partner is not fond of Broccoli Rabe so the Brocollini are in answer to that particular taste. I must try the chorizo. That would really be over the top! MM

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