It's been a crazy busy weekend! I flew to San Francisco for the Foodbuzz Festival this past weekend. I'm still working up photos from that weekend, along with photos from my Japan series and experiences at the Boston Rescue Mission. Until then, please enjoy this super easy recipe that I've been making and eating a lot lately!
I was in the North End last weekend, dining at one of our favorite neighborhood Italian favorites.
Although I had so many different types of mouthwatering pasta dishes from which to choose, I found myself gravitating towards an ingredient combination that I've ordered countless times: broccoli rabe + sausage.
There's something about broccoli rabe that I love. The slight bitterness, the complex flavor, and the nutrient density draw me over and over to dishes incorporating this superfood.
When I found a recipe online from one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Vegas, I couldn't wait to try making this at home.
This dish is surprisingly easy because it uses so few ingredients yet packs a ton of flavor. You can prepare many of the components beforehand and store for a super quick meal on a weeknight. For example, you can blanch and chop the broccoli rabe first and keep it on hand in the refrigerator.
When it's time to cook, simply saute some chopped onions and garlic with sausage, add broccoli rabe and its braising liquids, and then serve over pasta!
The flavors are delicious and it's so quick and easy.
For a twist, you can also add this the sauce to homemade gnocchi, sweet potato gnocchi (which is how I enjoyed it at the restaurant!), and countless other pasta shapes. To make it healthier, feel free to substitute normal sausage with turkey sausage. I can't guarantee it will taste just as good, but I'm sure it will still be pretty enjoyable.
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
Adapted from Rao's Recipes
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed and cut into bite size pieces
1 lb. broccoli rabe, blanched (see below)
1 cup broccoli rabe water (see below)
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. pasta
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Bring a pot of water to boil for cooking the pasta.
Heat oil and add garlic in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sausages and sauté until meat is cooked and loses its raw look. Add blanched broccoli rabe. Add rabe water and salt and pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until the contents are hot.
Meanwhile, cook pasta rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Place over medium-high heat and stir in ¾ cup of broccoli rabe and sausage sauce. Using a wooden spoon, toss together for 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour into a large serving platter or bowl. Spoon remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese.
Blanched Broccoli Rabe – (2 bunches)
Wash and dry broccoli rabe. Place broccoli rabe in a deep saucepan with cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring just to a simmer over high heat. As soon as bubbles appear at the sides of the pan, remove it from the heat. Reserve cooking water. Immediately place broccoli rabe in cold water to stop the cooking process. When broccoli rabe is cool, drain well in a colander and pat dry. Chop broccoli rabe into 2-3 inch pieces.
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