Recipe: Orecchiette with Italian sausage and rapini

Recipe: Orecchiette with Italian sausage and rapini

Image: Excerpted from Toronto Cooks by Amy Rosen


Recipe: Orecchiette with Italian sausage and rapini

Get a taste of Mercatto restaurant at home with their own orecchiette pasta recipe.



  • 1 bunch rapini, 2 inches trimmed from bottom of stalks
  • 4 cups dried orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 12 oz Italian pork sausage, removed from casing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 fresh red chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp (heaping) grated Grana Padano cheese
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring heavily salted water to a boil. Add rapini, return to a boil, and simmer for 2 minutes, or until tender. Transfer rapini to a colander and drain well. When cool enough to handle, chop into 1-inch pieces.

2 Bring water back to a boil. Add pasta and give a good stir. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook according to package directions. When cooked, reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and set aside.

3 In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon and cook until browned on all sides. Add chopped rapini. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in garlic and chili pepper. Add white wine and ½ cup reserved pasta water (this will give some starch and body to the sauce). Add drained pasta. Reduce heat to low. Add butter and cheese and combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To serve: Mound pasta into a large serving dish or divide among individual serving bowls. Grate more cheese overtop, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Excerpted from Toronto Cooks by Amy Rosen. Recipes Copyright © 2014 Amy Rosen, Photography copyright © 2014 Ryan Szulc. Excerpted by permission of Raincoast Books, Richmond, B.C. All rights reserved.





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Recipe: Orecchiette with Italian sausage and rapini