On the same day I served the burnt sugar bundt cake, I also served Giada de Laurentis's orechiette with broccoli rabe and sausage.
It was...okay. Ashleigh said it was great, but I think I need more sauciness to my pasta. But that doesn't mean I won't walk you through some of the steps (of course I got distracted and forgot to take more pictures!).
Begin with a batch of broccoli rabe, and trim down to the little broccoli heads. I am consistently amazed at the tremendous amount of leaves that accompany a rather paltry amount of broccoli whenever I buy this; anyone know if the greens are meant to be cooked as well? Once trimmed, add the broccoli rabe to boiling water for about a minute, then pull it out with a slotted spoon and set it aside, using the same water for your pasta.
In a skillet, pour olive oil and add sausage removed from the casing. I think this dish might have actually worked better with ground sausage, instead of the awkward little sausage nuggets we ended up with. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the sausage is well-browned.
Meanwhile, cook your orechiette. I think I undercooked mine a bit, as it was too al dente for my taste, but it should still be firm.
I tried to set a pretty table, complete with bread and dipping olive oil.
Finally, add the broccoli rabe and a little bit of the cooking water to your sausage mix to create a sauce. Also add grated parmesan (I used freshly grated) to taste.
I think, for me, the broccoli flavor was a little overpowering, and I could have used smaller bites of sausage. The orecchiette was a bit undercooked, which reminds me of my vow that I already broke: Do not try new recipes on guests. That said, Ashleigh is always a gracious guest and said it was great! Thanks, Ashleigh!