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Bowl of tender cavatelli with sausage and broccoli rabe, garnished with a dollop of ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of parmesan.



This Cavatelli With Sausage And Broccoli Rabe is Italian comfort food at its best.  Spicy sausage and bitter broccoli rabe are sauteed with tender cavatelli pasta in a garlicky, cheesy sauce.



3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced

Kosher salt to taste

2 pounds broccoli rabe, stems trimmed

12 ounces cavatelli pasta

4 large cloves garlic, minced

½ cup grated Italian cheese

1 cup ricotta cheese, optional

Shaved Italian cheese for a garnish


In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and the sliced sausage.

Cook, turning occasionally until browned and crisp around the edges – about 15 minutes.

Remove the sausage to a plate. Reserve the pan drippings.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil.  Add a handful of Kosher salt to the pot and return to a boil.

Toss in the broccoli rabe and cook, uncovered, until the vegetable is bright green and just tender, but still a bit crisp – about 5 minutes.

Use tongs to remove the broccoli rabe to a fine mesh colander.  Chop into bite-size pieces.

Add the pasta to the boiling water.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente – about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the skillet, warm the pan drippings.  Add the garlic and cook until it is golden brown – about 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli rabe and sausage to the pan.  Toss with the garlic and cook until warm.

Drain the pasta in a colander, but reserve the cooking liquid.

Add the pasta with ¼ cup of the pasta water to the skillet.

Toss with the sausage and broccoli rabe.

Stir in the grated cheese.  Stir vigorously until the cheese is melted and a creamy sauce has formed.

Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl.  

Top the pasta with a mound of ricotta cheese.

Sprinkle with the shaved Italian cheese.

Serve the pasta warm with a spoonful of the ricotta cheese, if using.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish - Pasta
  • Method: Saute, boil
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: cavatelli with sausage and broccoli rabe, Italian food, pasta, Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, comfort food, Italian comfort food