Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baked Galletti with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

For my birthday, our beautiful friend Rebecca gave me David Tanis' cookbook A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes which is an absolutely gorgeous book and I can't wait to make every single thing in it. David Tanis is the part time head chef at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters' restaurant in Berkeley. As such, he obviously puts a lot of emphasis on eating seasonally and locally. The idea of a recipe for a "platter of figs" is clearly silly since that would require no recipe at all. But the point is that if you are eating seasonally, you really don't need to do much at all with your ingredients – they are already absolutely delicious as is.

Anyway, last night I made his Orechiette with Fennel Sausage with some slight modifications. As you know, we like to cook what we might already have around, so I used a galletti style pasta instead of orechiette, since I had that in the pantry. Galletti means cocks combs and they do look like little rooster combs, semi circular with a little ruffle on the edge.

Instead of making my own fennel sausage as the recipe suggests, I just bought some at the store. GASP! This was a hearty and delicious baked pasta dish, but the addition of broccoli rabe and the use of only one type of cheese lightened it up in a really great way so it wasn’t as heavy as you might expect.

Ingredients: (this is cut in half from the recipe)
1 lb short cut pasta
1 lb sausage (we used a mild Italian, not in the casing)
1 bunch broccoli rabe
½ lb ricotta cheese
Grated pecorino
Olive oil
Crushed red pepper
Butter for baking dish

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and then salt it generously. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Strain pasta out of the water (you will use the same water for cooking the broccoli rabe so don’t chuck it down the drain) and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little olive oil so it doesn’t stick together.

Add broccoli rabe to the pasta water and cook for one minute. Strain and roughly chop.

In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic and crushed red pepper. Add the sausage (removed from casing, if applicable) and brown.

Combine the pasta, broccoli rabe and sausage in a bowl and then add your ricotta. Stir to combine and pour into a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with grated pecorino (I used about ½ cup) and cook covered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes then uncover and cook for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top.


  1. I made this yummy dish tonight thanks to you. It was fast, easy, and delicious. Thanks!

  2. In the post you said you only used one type of cheese, but in the recipe I see two - which did you use? And do you think it would be good with just the ricotta? I'm lactose intolerant but it seems the softer the cheese is, the less sick I get (and I believe pec is a hard cheese, though I may be wrong)...

    this looks delicious, thanks for posting :)

  3. Theresa, you're right - I technically used two. I should have clarified and said that only one was mixed in with the actual pasta - I feel like a lot of baked pasta dishes have ricotta plus a bechamel and some other kind of heavier cheese. I didn't really count the parmesan as it was only 1/2 a cup and just really a topping, but I probably should have counted it. It would be absolutely just as delightful without the parm - you could maybe substitute some fresh breadcrumbs sauteed in some garlic olive oil as a topping, just so you still get that delicious crunchy brown top on your pasta!