Day-Off Diet Orecchiette Broccoli Rabe and Chicken Italian Sausage

This recipe is so delicious, you'll forget that you're on a diet. This Day-Off Diet lunch or dinner dish lets you eat a small serving of pasta (yes, you read  that right) paired with protein and a nutrient-rich vegetable. Find out more about the Day-Off Diet and take the Day-Off Diet Assessment so you can find out which social support group is right for you.

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12 oz Whole-grain orecchiette pasta (cooked)
1 Bunch broccoli rabe
1 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
3 cloves Garlic (smashed, skin removed)
1 tbsp Garlic (finely grated or 2 tsp garlic powder)
pinch Red pepper flakes
4 Links Italian chicken sausage
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Oregano or marjoram
4 tsp Finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

Trim the bottom 1/2 inch of stem from the bundle of broccoli rabe. Chop the remaining in 1- to 2 inch pieces – leaves, florets, and all.

In your biggest sauté pan over high heat, pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the garlic. Quickly heat the oil and lightly brown the garlic cloves, add the pinch of pepper flakes.

Immediately add the chopped broccoli rabe and season with kosher salt. With kitchen tongs, turn the leaves so that they are all exposed to the hot pan. Continue cooking until lightly wilted, then transfer to a bowl.

Wipe out the pan and return to the heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray and add the chicken, salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, and oregano or marjoram. Mix well with a wooden spoon and break into pieces. Cook until browned.

Add the pasta to the pan with chicken. Turn the heat to high, return the broccoli rabe to the pan, mix thoroughly to reheat, adding a bit of the pasta water to keep the pan from getting dry. Divide among 4 plates and garnish each with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese.

Recipe provided by James Briscione, chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education.