A pasta dish that originated in Puglia, really the most difficult thing about Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli was learning to spell Orecchiette (I always wanted it to have one more “r” and one less “c.”).

Even now, the spell check doesn’t seem to like it, but I know I’ve finally got it right. And Google affirms this fact, too, whew.


Now back to this insanely yummy, easy weeknight pasta. In Italy, they’d use broccoli rabe, which is slightly bitter, in place of the broccoli. But considering broccoli rabe is harder to find in your average grocery store, I’m happy with the broccoli. It makes this slightly indulgent dish seem borderline healthy, and really is there any better vegetable than broccoli with lots of garlic, olive oil and chili flakes?

I used this recipe the first time I made it, and once you do, you probably won’t even need it the next time around. It’s really forgiving and can be adapted to your taste. For instance, I like a bit more cheese, so I went for it. I like more garlic, so I went for it that, too. As a launching point for your own creation, however, the recipe is perfect.

Orecchiette, known as “little ears” for their unique shape, are available in practically every grocery store, even Target, these days. And what’s absolutely fantastic about them is they trap little bits of garlic and cheese and spicy sausage so well, making them extra, extra delicious.