Blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Immediately place it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well and chop very coarsely; set aside.
Cook orecchiette per package directions—about 10 minutes. Drain but reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Coarsely chop the herbs and set aside.
Heat a large saute pan (a chicken fryer or a skillet with deep straight sides is perfect) over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the sausage meat and the onion. Break up the sausage meat until it’s in small pieces and brown.
Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste has changed color from bright red to a brickish color. Add the garlic and diced tomatoes and stir.
Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and add the chopped herbs and broccoli rabe. Stir well.
Add the orecchiette and the shredded cheese. Stir well. Season to taste with the salt & pepper.
If the dish looks too dry, add additional pasta water.
Serve with extra shredded Parmesan if desired.