Thursday, January 24, 2013

Eating Whole Foods: Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Clams & Italian Sausage

By: The Food Hunter

I've been wanting to try the Portuguese dish of pasta with clams and sausage for months now. Of course when I finally get around to making it I can't seem to remember which cookbook I had saw the recipe in. It's probably a combo of old age, and the fact that I have so many cookbooks, but I am always misplacing recipes.

Sometimes this can pose a I will plan an entire meal around a recipe I know I saw and then not be able to fine it anywhere...which means rethinking a menu.  Thankfully that was not the case this time around.  I was easily able to find many recipes with one quick online search. In order to round out the dish I chose a recipe that included broccoli rabe.

My quest for clams always brings me to Whole Foods Market.  I love the quality and selection of their seafood.  Although I've bought various meats from Whole Foods over the years I've actually never tried their sausage.  This was a great opportunity.  They sell several varieties but I went with the most traditional for this recipe; sweet Italian.  One thing I really liked about the sausage was that you can buy it fresh and already out of the casing. This just added to the ease of the recipe.

This is quite a simple dish that comes together fairly easily and imparts tons of flavor. You will easily impress your dinner guests with this one.

Want to win a $25 Whole Foods Gift Card?  Details after the recipe.

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe, Clams & Italian Sausage
(adapted from Tyler Florence)

1 1/2 pounds loose sweet Italian sausage, shaped into mini-meatballs
4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, or to taste
Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme
30 littleneck clams, cleaned and scrubbed
2 cups dry white wine
1 pound orecchiette
Kosher salt
2 small bunches broccoli rabe, stems removed
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


1. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.

2. Take another large saucepan (big enough to hold clams) and set over medium heat. Add some olive oil and the sausage. Cook over medium heat to render fat and get color on the sausage. Once the sausage is browned on all sides, remove and place onto a paper towel-lined plate. To the same pan, add the chopped garlic, red chili flakes and thyme leaves and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Turn up the heat, dump in the cleaned and scrubbed clams and white wine. Cover with a lid and steam for about 10 minutes until the clams open.

3. While clams are steaming, cook the pasta. Add orecchiette to boiling water and cook. With about 3 minutes left, add the broccoli rabe to the same pot and cook until tender. Drain pasta and broccoli and place into the saucepan with the browned sausage. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Place into a large serving bowl.

4. Now return to the clams. Remove the lid and add the cubes of cold butter and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil as you stir. Once the sauce thickens slightly give it a final seasoning with pepper and a little salt (go easy on the salt) then take the whole pan and pour on top of the orecchiette and broccoli rabe. Shower with fresh Parmesan and parsley.

****Whole Foods Gift Card Give Away****
Leave a comment on this post.  Let me know what you would buy at Whole Foods if you won. Contest runs through 1/31/2013

Want additional entries:
1. friend me on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you did
2. Like Whole Foods on Facebook also leaving a comment here
3. Tweet about the contest on Twitter and link to me
4. Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know.
5. Follow me on Pinterest also leaving a comment here.


  1. Pork & clams was the first dish I cooked for my husband. I'm pretty sure it was an Emeril recipe. Your version looks amazing!

  2. I would get the Los NiƱos Blend 2013 The light roast coffee has notes of cocoa and hazelnut with mild acidity.

  3. I would buy the Maplebrook Farms ricotta at Whole Foods; fresh, delicious, much different from the ricotta you get in other grocery stores.

  4. I would buy organic dates - from the bin!! Actually, I've tried to buy some a couple of times to try them, but they are often all sold out!

  5. I tweeted your giveaway and included your handle!!

  6. I follow you on Pinterest!!!

  7. Your dish looks amazing. If I won I would spend the money in the bakery and hit their honey selection!

  8. I tweeted:

  9. I'd like to buy lots of lentils and beans in bulk for soups and stews...and one little bag of pistachios as a treat. :)

  10. Ohhhh I'd love to buy some baking things! I'd use it next week when I visit my friends in MO! No WF on island!

  11. I love Whole Foods and go there at least once a month. I'd love to get some more of their dark chocolate chunks (in the baking aisle), as well as some additional baking ingredients.

  12. i love the combination of sausage and clams together.

  13. I like their organic house brand. So good!

  14. I would buy some fruits for smoothies!

  15. liked whole foods on facebook - Ann Lyfe

  16. tweeted -

  17. following on instagram - stefaniegladden

  18. following on pinterest - stefaniegladden

  19. Hmm, at Whole Foods, I would stock up on some bulk! Things like shredded coconut, dried cranberries and something with chocolate! :)