Dinner for One-Orrechiette with Broccoli di Rapa and Sausage

This is an all-time favorite of mine, and readily adaptable for one person.  It’s one of those dishes that I eat often and never tire of.  You may recall I made Broccoli di Rapa with Chorizo the other evening . . . I have some leftover chopped, blanched (but not sauteed) broccoli di rapa in the fridge

In the freezer I (usually) have some sweet Italian sausage that’s been boiled  prior to freezing.  I love being able to simply pull out a link of already-cooked sausage, slice it and throw it into a pasta or stew. 

I never used to boil my sausages before I met my neighbor, Beppi.  I’d always thought that searing the raw sausage resulted in a moister sausage with a sexy, crispy exterior.  Well, it does result in a crispy exterior, but by the time the interior is cooked (pork sausage should always be cooked well), the sausages seem to dry out and become mealy.   Boiling them for 15 to 20 minutes prior to a light sear in a skillet seems to result in much moister sausage, and allows for a much shorter searing time, since the sausages are already cooked all the way through.

Although I already posted this recipe a while back, this is for those of you who want it adapted to one portion . . .

Orrechiette with Broccoli di Rapa and Sausage (For One)

1  cup orrechiette

1 c chopped cooked broccoli di rapa (blanched in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes)

2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil

1 plump Italian sausage, boiled for 15 – 20 minutes, then sliced into 1/4″ discs

1 clove garlic, split in half

pinch of chili flakes

pecorino cheese for sprinkling

While pasta is boiling, slowly brown the garlic clove in oil until golden.  Turn up the heat and add the sausage pieces and brown on one side, briefly.  Sprinkle the chili flakes into the hot oil and saute for about 30 seconds.  Add broccoli and saute on high heat for a minute or so.  Add the pasta and about 2 tablespoons of cooking water and saute over high heat for about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, add a drizzle of raw olive oil and some pecorino cheese.

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