A Mano’s “Orecchiette Pugliese”

1 pound orecchiette pasta
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1/4 cup julienned sundried tomatoes
1 pound broccoli florets or chopped broccoli rabe
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
1 cup grated ricotta salata

Cook broccoli in boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Cook orecchiette in a large pot of boiling salted water until pasta is al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2-cup of the pasta water. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil, add crumbled Italian sausage and garlic, and cook through. Add red pepper flakes, sundried tomatoes and white wine to the pan, and continue cooking until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the broccoli, orrechiette and the reserved pasta water to the pan and toss it all together. Remove pan from heat and stir in 1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste. Transfer to a large bowl and served topped with grated ricotta salata.

The distinctive orecchiette pasta originates from the Puglia region and is shaped roughly like ears. Joshua Smith recommends seeking artisanal pasta brands available at area specialty and high-end grocery stores; he also recommends an Italian red wine from the same reason to accompany it. Either a Salice Salentino or a Primitivo would offer the brighter acidity to contrast with the richness of the Italian sausage and the saltiness of the ricotta salata.

A Mano
870 Tchoupitoulas St.
208-92-80
www.aManoNola.com