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Two bowls of pasta with greens on the table next to a striped napkin with a fork
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5 from 3 votes

Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

This delicious and hearty pasta comes with the easiest, light sauce. See my tips in the post for migraine-friendly ingredients.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 505kcal
Author: Alicia


  • 8-10 oz orecchiette pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ lb chicken sausage
  • 3 large cloves minced garlic
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe or rapini
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes *Use less if you don't like spicy
  • 2 oz goat cheese (optional)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions, drain, but keep about ½ cup of the pasta water. Rough chop washed broccoli rabe into bite size pieces.
  • In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Add sausage and stir till cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Then add chopped broccoli rabe and season with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook for about 2 minutes till wilted down.
  • Add 1 cup of broth and bring to a simmer for about 2 minutes then add your pasta. Adding the pasta should help thicken the sauce a bit to coat the little bowls. If you like more sauce, a tablespoon or two of the pasta water until it meets your expectations. Mix in sausage and add red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Top with goat cheese (or mix in while warm) if desired.


  • For gluten free, just substitute your favorite GF pasta. The sauce may not thicken quite the same. If this happens, you can stir in a teaspoon of arrowroot powder to help it out.
  • If you can't find broccoli rabe or rapini, feel free to use what you have on hand - kale, spinach, mustard greens, etc. My favorite would be kale or spinach.
  • To make this dairy free, you can easily leave out the goat cheese.
  • For sausage recommendations, see the post.
  • For broth, I like to use Trader Joe's Hearty Vegetable (which does have onion but no MSG) or make my own migraine-friendly broth. You can find chicken broth here or vegetable broth in my new cookbook.


Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 965mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1965IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 3mg