Orecchiette Barese | Spicy Sausage, Rapini and Orecchiette

Orecchiette, named for their shape, which resembles “little ears,” are very popular in Southern Italy. My favorite way to make Orecchiette is with spicy Italian sausage sautéed with garlic and Rapini, broccoli rabe, a traditional dish from Bari, near to where my grandfather was born. The shape of the pasta scoops up the tasty bits of sausage and the slightly bitter rabe with each bite creating the perfect harmony of spicy earthiness. This savory pasta dish is lovely with a glass of Poggio Grande Scorbutico.


To make this vegan, substitute the sausage with vegan sausage. I use Beyond Meat or Impossible meat.

Receipt Date: August 7, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

See ingredients, directions and pairings.


1 pound Spicy Italian Sausage, removed from the casing, Pork, Turkey or Chicken

1 pound Broccoli Rabe, washed and trimmed

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 tablespoon EVOO

Pinch of Red Pepper Chili Flakes

Pinch of Sea Salt


Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add a pinch of sea salt and the broccoli rabe. Cook until al dente, about 15 minutes. In another pot, boil 4 cups of water and add a pinch of sea salt and the Orecchiette. Cook as directed. In the meantime, brown the sausage and garlic with the EVOO in a large sauce pan. Once the rabe is tender, drain, then cut into coarse pieces. Drain the pasta when al dente. CAREFULLY add the broccoli rabe and the Orechiette to the sausage and garlic. They will splatter because they are wet. Toss in a pinch of red chili pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of grated Pecorino cheese and a drizzle of EVOO.  

Amy’s Favorite Pairing

Poggio Grande-SCORBUTICO D.O.C

$35.00 750 ml

Additional Pairings

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