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Making the Pasta of the Month, Orecchiette, with I Heart Pasta

Making the Pasta of the Month, Orecchiette, with I Heart Pasta

So many “ah-ha” moments during this lesson on pasta!

In our kitchen this morning, Chef Alan Sternberg, Chef at Ukiyo and I Heart Pasta, and his wife Audra, I Heart Pasta, share more about their new pasta pop-up and their featured pasta of the month, “Orecchiette.”

Making the Pasta of the Month, Orecchiette, with I Heart Pasta

Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe:

• .5# Italian or fennel sausage
• 1# dried orecchiette pasta (other shapes like rigatoni or penne work well too)
• ¼ C white wine
• 3 ea garlic cloves (minced)
• ¼ tsp red pepper flake
• 1# broccoli rabe
• ½ C cooked Italian white beans
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• TT Salt
• TT Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
• 1 squeeze Lemon


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season it well. Taste it and it should taste salty.
  2. Cook the broccoli rabe in the pot of water for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  3. In a sauté pan or skillet, brown the sausage while the broccoli rabe is cooking.
  4. Mince the garlic and add it to the sausage pan after the sausage is browned. The garlic should cook in the fat that has rendered out of the sausage. After the garlic starts to brown lightly (be careful to burn the garlic and you may want to turn down the temperature of the pan) add the red pepper flake and sauté for 30 seconds.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the wine and bring to a boil. Be careful as grease may want to splatter and there will be a fair amount of steam. (If cooking on a gas or open flame, pull the pan away from the stove so the wine doesn’t catch on fire. Once the initial sizzle dies down, return to the stove and bring to a boil.)
  6. Add the broccoli rabe to the sausage pan and turn down to low. Make sure there is liquid in the pan and add a splash of the boiling water to the pan if it looks dry.
  7. Cook the pasta until tender but toothsome.
  8. In the pan, add the beans and allow to warm through.
  9. Add the pasta to the pan (don’t rinse under water, you want the starch to help thicken the sauce).
  10. Bring to a simmer and stir with a spoon until the sauce starts to cling to the pasta but not too thick. The sauce will thicken as the pasta cools.
  11. Turn off the heat and swirl in the olive oil. Stir well to allow it to emulsify. Wait 2 minutes and grate some parmesan cheese into the pot. Repeat the swirl until the cheese all melts.
  12. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon as desired. Serve immediately.
  13. (optional: top with toasted breadcrumbs and fresh parsley if you desire)

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