Orecchiette with Broccoli and Italian Sausage

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Orecchiette with Broccoli and Italian Sausage
Serves 6
It's all right here. Pasta, Sausage and a Vegetable (broccoli), a complete meal and as colorful as it is delicious. Try substituting Sweet Italian Sausage or Chicken Italian sausage for the Hot listed here for a different take. Other optional add-ins include slivered carrots, blanched, slivered fennel and sweet onions.
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Ingredients
  1. 1⁄4 Lb. Broccoli
  2. - Coarse Salt
  3. 1⁄4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive OIl
  4. 1⁄2 Lb. Hot Italian Sausage, casing removed
  5. 1⁄2 tsp. Hot Red Pepper Flakes
  6. 3 each Large Garlic Cloves, minced
  7. 1 Lb. Orecchiette Pasta
  8. 1⁄2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Separate the broccoli florets from the stems and chop both florets and stems coarsely, keeping separate.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the stems and cook for 3 to 4 minutes; add the florets and cook both for another 5 minutes until both are just tender. Remove from boiling water, reserving water in pot, and run broccoli under cold water to stop cooking process.
  3. Top up the pot with more water and return it to boiling.
  4. Heat olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until it loses its pink color. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and saute briefly to release the garlic's fragrance.
  5. Add the broccoli and season well with salt. Stir to coat the broccoli with the seasonings. Keep warm over low heat.
  6. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until it's just shy of al dente (1 to 2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time). Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid in a cup. Drain the pasta and return it to the warm, empty pot.
  7. Add the contents of the skillet to the pasta and cook it over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the pasta is al dente, adding as much of the reserved water as needed to keep the pasta moist.
  8. Remove from the heat, stir in 1/2 cup cheese, and divide the pasta among six warm bowls. Top with the remaining cheese and serve.
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/