Orecchiette, Maple Syrup Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe in Cream Sauce

Staff Writer
Orecchiette, Maple Syrup Sausage, and Broccoli Rabe in Cream Sauce
Jane Bruce

The maple syrup in this recipe is subtle enough so that you won't feel like you're eating breakfast, but it's just the right amount of sweetness to complement the creamy sauce and hot pepper flakes. 

Click here to see Cooking with Maple Syrup — 8 Recipes.

8
Servings
670
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

*Note: I halve my cherry tomatoes at the very beginning, season them with salt and pepper, and keep them in a bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Pound pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1/4 Cup medium amber maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 Cup chicken stock
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 Cups cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)*

Directions

In a large nonstick skillet, cook the pork sausage, breaking up with a spoon as you go, until nicely browned. Add the maple syrup to the sausage and sauté for 2 minutes longer, stirring and incorporating the syrup into the sausage. 

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Cook the broccoli rabe until tender, about 4-5 minutes. When the broccoli rabe is cooked through, drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and shock in the ice water bath.

When your sausage is cooked all the way through, remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl. Add the olive oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sauté until the onion is soft and transluscent, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the broccoli rabe water and cook according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside.

Remove the broccoli rabe from the ice bath, drain well, and roughly chop. Add the broccoli rabe to the pan with the onion and garlic and stir well. Add the chicken stock, season with a little more salt and pepper, and bring the pan to a simmer. Let the chicken stock reduce in the pan, stirring occasionally. Add the pasta water to the pan with the vegetables and chicken stock and simmer. To finish, drain the pasta into a serving bowl. Add the vegetables and pasta water, the heavy cream, and cheese. Toss well to incorporate. Add the cherry tomatoes last, if using. 

Orecchiette Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Orecchiette Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
39g
59%
Sugar
11g
N/A
Saturated Fat
15g
76%
Cholesterol
105mg
35%
Protein
26g
52%
Carbs
56g
19%
Vitamin A
254µg
28%
Vitamin B12
0.9µg
15.3%
Vitamin B6
0.4mg
20.1%
Vitamin C
19mg
31%
Vitamin D
1µg
N/A
Vitamin E
3mg
14%
Vitamin K
135µg
100%
Calcium
205mg
21%
Fiber
4g
17%
Folate (food)
69µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
69µg
17%
Iron
3mg
18%
Magnesium
70mg
17%
Monounsaturated
15g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
7mg
33%
Phosphorus
347mg
50%
Polyunsaturated
5g
N/A
Potassium
689mg
20%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.4mg
25.5%
Sodium
775mg
32%
Sugars, added
6g
N/A
Thiamin (B1)
0.4mg
24.8%
Zinc
3mg
23%