Mario Batalis Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pasta

Mario Batali’s Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pasta


  • 1 pound Orrecchiette Pasta (instructions included for making fresh pasta)
  • 2 cups Semolina Flour (plus more for dusting-if making fresh pasta)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup warm Water
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Hot Italian Sausage (casing removed)
  • 1 bunch Broccoli Rabe (rinsed and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes (optional)
  • 1 cup Pecorino (freshly grated)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)


To make fresh pasta, put the semolina flour on the cutting board and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the water a little at a time, stirring with a fork and hands until dough is formed. You may need more or less water, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.

Knead it like bread until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the dough and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Roll the dough into dowels about 3 to 4 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick pieces. Press the center of each disk with your thumb to form saucer-shaped pasta. Place the orecchiette on a sheet tray that has been dusted with semolina flour, cover the pasta with a clean dish towel, and set aside until ready to use. At this point, the pasta can be frozen for several months.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta about 3 to 4 minutes or 1 minute short of the package instructions and drain, reserving pasta water.

Heat a large dutch oven or sauté pan with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon or potato masher, until browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the broccoli rabe to the pan, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat in the pan drippings. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, just until tender. Deglaze with a cup of reserved pasta water, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add the pasta and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minute and remove from the heat.

Add the freshly grated Pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat until creamy. Serve with extra Pecorino and red chili flakes.

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