Lamb Merguez Ragu with Orecchiette & Broccoli

One of my favourites, and as usual will work great with any Britwurst sausage.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 packet Lamb Merguez Britwurst sausage, skins removed (any sausage will suffice however)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon harissa paste or 1 tsp.chili paste
100ml chicken or vegetable stock
450g orecchiette
1 broccoli, finely chopped
Shaved parmesan, for serving
Chopped fresh mint, for serving

Method:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

2. In a large heavy based pan, heat the oil over medium- high. Add the sausage, breaking up with a spoon, until browned, for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Uncover; add the tomato paste and harissa. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and reduce the heat to low. Let the ragu simmer while you cook the broccoli and the pasta.

3. In a large pan, bring 2 to 3 inches of water to a boil for the broccoli.

4. Salt the pasta water. Add the pasta; cook to al dente.

5. Salt the water for the broccoli shortly before adding it, and cook 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Add 1 cup of the pasta water to the ragu; drain the pasta. Toss the pasta with the rabe and half the ragu. Divide among shallow bowls. Top with a little more ragu; garnish with parmesan and mint.

(photo & recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray)