Homemade Pasta Cooking Club - Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

Serves: 2 - 4

Ingredients for the Orecchiette:

  • 1 cup semolina flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons water

Ingredients for the Sausage and Broccoli:

  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red chili flakes
  • 1/2 pound fresh made orecchiette
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano, plus more to serve
  • extra virgin olive oil, to finish
  • kosher salt, to taste

Procedure for Orecchiette:

  1. Mix together the semolina flour along with the salt. Place in a pile on a clean work surface. 
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the egg. Whisk with a fork while gradually incorporating the egg into the flour. 
  3. Using your hands, bring the dough together and begin to knead, adding a tablespoon of water at a time if the dough appears too dry. The moisture in the egg can largely affect this part so this is where natural instincts will come into play. 
  4. When the dough is fully combined, knead for 7 - 10 minutes, until smooth and firm. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. 
  5. When the dough has been rested and has a supple feel to the touch, it is ready to form the orecchiette. Start by dividing the dough into 4 equal pieces and cover while working with each piece.
  6. On a lightly floured work surface, take one quarter of the dough and, using your fingers, gently roll out the dough, using a back and forth motion, to create a rope about 10 inches in length. 
  7. Using a knife, cut off one inch pieces, about the size of the tip of your thumb. Place your thumb in the middle of the dough and roll the dough back toward you, creating the appearance of an ear shape. Continue with the remaining dough until all of the orecchiette have been formed. Be sure to keep the orecchiette covered during the process. 

Procedure for Sausage and Broccoli:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the sausage and, using a wooden spoon, break into crumbles.
  3. Allow the sausage to cook for 5 minutes untouched and then stir to continue to brown for an additional 3 - 5 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the garlic, broccoli and chili flakes and season with salt, cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, drop the orecchiette into the boiling water to allow to cook for 3 - 4 minutes, until al dente. 
  6. Using a fine mesh strainer or a cooking spider, strain the pasta directly into the sausage and broccoli. Add between 1/2 - 1 cup of starchy pasta water to the mixture and toss to combine.
  7. Remove from the heat and toss in about 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmigiano cheese. 
  8. Serve immediately with more grated parmigiano over the top along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

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