Cavatelli with Sausage and Rapini

Here is a pasta dish that is savory to the max! All the flavors of the sausage combined with the broccoli rabe, garlic, and white wine! I love this dish! This is most commonly served with orecchetti, but I like using cavatelli or even rotelli. Multicolor rotelli infused with veggies is really good too! It looks amazing!

This dish is pretty simple to prepare, however, the timing of the pasta, broccoli rabe, and sausage all need to come together pretty much at the same time just before plating. 

First, we are going to prep the sausage for sauteeing a little later. Preheat oven to 550. Place sausage on a baking pan with plenty of room and bake at 550 for about 10 minutes. All were looking to do here is firm up the sausage and get a little color on the outside. We are not concerned about cooking it through. You can also brown the sausage on the stovetop in cast iron giving the sausage quarter turns until browned. 

Remove sausage from the oven. When sausage is cool enough, with a serrated knife cut into  ½ inch wide circles, and place in a mixing bowl. Pour any juices from the baking pan into the mixing bowl with the sausage. 

Add to the mixing bowl the finely minced garlic, oregano, fresh cracked black pepper,  and extra virgin olive oil. Toss and set aside. 

Now, your stovetop may start getting a little crowded here. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil your cavatelli. While we are waiting for the water to boil and the cavatelli to be finished we will complete the broccoli rabe and finish up the sausage. 

Prepare the broccoli rabe as done in my previous blog post and set it aside in the open air. Do not cover it. (Note* use only two heads of rapini and exclude the splash of vinegar. Adjust other ingredients for only two heads)

Heat up a “dry” large or oversized frying pan until it’s piping hot. (Try not to ruin your pan just get it nice and hot). I prefer stainless steel for this dish. Empty out the mixing bowl with the sausage onto the dry hot pan. Spread out the sausage and flip to get both sides seared. This should only take a few minutes. Once the sausage is seared, add the white wine and deglaze the pan with a spatula. At some point during this process, we are going to add the cavatelli to the boiling water. While the cavatelli is boiling, towards the end, spoon a few ladles of the foamy pasta water off from the top of the pot and add it to the pan with the sausage and white wine. Once most of the wine is cooked off shut off the flame and cover. 

When the cavatelli is done to perfect al dente texture, strain, and place in a large mixing bowl.  

Fold in all the contents of the frying pan with the cavatelli then immediately GENTLY fold in the broccoli rabe keeping it intact. 

Plate in your favorite platter and serve immediately with crushed red pepper and Parmigiano-Reggiano. 

I would enjoy a nice Finger Lakes, “DRY” Riesling with this dish!

I hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for visiting!



Ingredient Breakdown

Serves 4-6

2 heads of broccoli rabe, one chop after stems are chopped off.

1lb of good quality Italian sausage from the butcher or fresh store made at supermarket.

½  cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of white wine. Chardonnay or dry riesling.

4 cloves of minced garlic

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 pound of ricotta cavatelli

Crushed red pepper flakes for serving

Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving 

Published by mruglio

I'm a third-generation Italian American cook that is passionate about Italian food and all that surrounds it.

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