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Monday, April 18, 2011

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage

Broccoli Rabe is one of those ingredients I never ate until I moved to New York. Now it's just about everywhere, and it is easy to prepare. The mild but slightly bitter flavor makes any meal a little more interesting. Since it is in season, I picked up a bunch at the grocery and then hunted for an easy recipe for one of my favorite dishes at old school Italian restaurants, Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage. Most commonly made with orecchiette, this dish is really quick and easy to throw together.

1 lb. broccoli rabe, trimmed
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced (not diced)
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 lb. hot italian sausage, casings removed (you could use sweet too)
1/2 lb. dried pasta (use what you have, but use shapes not noodles)
Parmesan cheese (for topping)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Boil broccoli rabe for 5 minutes or until it's fairly tender. Meanwhile, put the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Now add the sausage and brown. Remove broccoli rabe with spoon and drain, reserving water. Dice the rabe just a little bit to make it easy to eat and add to sausage mixture. Cook the pasta in the boiled water, drain and reserve a bit of the pasta water. Add pasta to the skillet and a little bit of the pasta water and toss until well mixed. Add salt and red pepper, adding more water if needed. Serve immediately with Parmesan on top.

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