This is a typical southern Italian dish served in the winter, and it's one that I personally like. The sausage with the broccoli is common in Italy. It was usually served as a sandwich, but now it's also served with pasta.

Alla barese is made with Italian sausage and rapini, which is the bitter broccoli.

Not everybody likes rapini because it's bitter. It has a little bite to it. In America you can find rapini all year long. In Italy they grow this broccoli in wintertime. I chose to share this recipe because it's cold outside here now. This is a good dish for this time of year.

Orrecchiette is small ear-shaped pasta that can be purchased in any market that carries Barilla brand pasta.

If you'd like the dish a little spicier you can add red chili pepper flakes or you can choose spicier Italian sausage.

I would drink a stronger red wine with it, like a Barbera or Barolo. Something with body.

HOW TO DO IT

Cook the pasta according to package directions while preparing the remainder of the recipe. Place olive oil in a large sauté pan and heat to medium-hot. Add sausage and cook for 8 minutes, turning with spatula. Add onions, garlic, tomatoes, white wine, butter, rapini, and salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Serve over drained orrecchiette topped with Parmigiano and Pecorino cheeses.

INGREDIENTS

1 16-ounce package of orrecchiette pasta

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pound mild Italian sausage, removed from casing and shredded

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

1/4 cup fresh garlic, finely chopped

4 roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup white wine

2 tablespoons butter

14 ounces of rapini (broccoli); choose tender stems

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 ounces Parmigiano and Pecorino, mixed together

By Antonio Mastellone, Owner/Chef, Arrividerci Italian Restaurant, Hillcrest

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