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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Sundried Tomatoes

So it's been such a crazy month that I didn't do I single post in the month of June!  That's the first time a month has passed without a post since I started blogging recipes almost two years ago and I did have an actual conversation with myself about this.  I just didn't have time to prepare something to take photos, and I started this blog as a way to have some fun with cooking and photography.  If I start stressing out about cooking solely for the purpose of taking pictures and blogging, then it will no longer be fun for me.  I did make these roasted banana popsicles one night that I intended on posting if they went over well, but they were only so-so.  I'm going to work on that recipe until it's better.  Aside from that, I spent most of my time in June wrapping up my school year by writing college recommendations and grading finals, and then began my summer vacations apartment hunting with my mother for a week followed by an awesome family vacay to North Conway.

I now make up for my recent absence of posts with a new recipe that I put together myself.  It is super quick, super easy, packed with healthy veggies, excellent for leftovers, and really delicious.  It is also, as most of my favorites tend to be, extremely versatile.  Use any kind of pasta you like (whole grain to kick up the health factor, but I just love orecchiette for this - classic), and use any protein you'd like, swap out the sausage for white beans, or omit it completely (to go vegetarian/vegan.)  You can use a different vegetable if you would rather as well, but if you haven't tried broccoli rabe, you should try it.  It can be bitter, but if you blanch it first as I did, it helps the bitterness immensely.  I hope you love this one as much as we do in the Faulkner house.  Speaking of houses...

We are preparing to move in the end of July, so there has been a lot of packing and a lot less cooking.  I have already packed away all my baking supplies, so don't expect any cookies or cakes from me.  I am about to say goodbye to my food processor and mixer, but I keep putting it off.  In the meantime, I haven't been using them much anyway since I've been running around so much.  In addition to our move, my mother is moving as well.  AND I have a graduate course all of next week from 8 in the morning to 5 at night.  Needless to say, I am busy.  Don't expect too much from me during the month of July either.

1 lb orecchiette
1 lb chicken sausage, removed from casings
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch broccoli rabe
7 oz jar of sliced sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained
1/2 cup grated romano cheese

Bring 2 large pots of water to a boil.  In one, cook the broccoli rabe for 30 seconds.  Pull from the water and place in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.  Once cooled, remove to a colander to drain.  Then chop the cooled and drained broccoli rabe into small pieces.  Place half the olive oil in a large, deep pan over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the chicken sausage and allow to cook undisturbed for four minutes or so, then flip, and begin breaking up the meat as it continues to cook.  Cook until the sausage it no longer pink and remove to a bowl.  Drain most of the grease from the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low.  While waiting for the pan to cool, cook the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid before you drain it.  When the pan is ready, add the remaining olive oil and the garlic to your pan and stir until fragrant, about a minute or so.  Then add the chopped broccoli rabe and the sundried tomatoes, and saute until all of the flavors have combined, about another minute.  Return the sausage to the pan and stir.  Then add the cooked pasta and about 1/2 a cup of the pasta water.  (save the rest for any leftover that you save so that the dish isn't completely dry after the pasta absorbs what's there.)  Lastly, add the romano cheese and give one last stir.  Serve with extra cheese and crushed red pepper.

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