When I went to the green grocer the other day to replenish our fruit and vegetable supplies, I spied some Rapini or Broccoli Rabe. Normally, I go right past it because it’s so terribly expensive, even by mainland standards. Back home in Hawaii, fresh fruits and veg that came from the continental United States are shipped in. They’re tasteless and I think way over priced. But these bundles looked like they had just been laid out, still warm from the sun, there wasn’t even any pricing on them yet. I made an inquiry as to the cost, not bad at $3.99 per pound. I figured we’d give it a whirl. I had seen an extremely simple dish on some TV program, it couldn’t be that difficult.
This was as easy as pie (which I wish I could eat, but alas, not yet). I did a search on the WWW and found that this can be a bitter vegetable and that a quick boil would fix that. So that’s what I did. I washed and drained the entire bunch. I thought that if it was too much for the two of us, I could just save the leftover cooked veg for lunch. I cut the stalks into large pieces, maybe three to four inches long; boiled them in salted water for about 3 minutes, drained and set it to the side.
I took that same Dutch oven and browned and crumbled 2 chicken Italian sausages from Sprouts (love that place); added 3 cloves of minced garlic along with a small pinch of red pepper flakes and set that all aside.
In the meantime, I had another pot of whole wheat penne pasta boiling to just shy of done; reserved a coffee mug of the water before draining that off.
I tossed the cooked broccoli rabe and the pasta in with the sausage, added some the pasta water to deglazed those nice brown bits in the bottom of the pot, gave it all a good mix up and served with a drizzle of EVOO and a flourish of grated cheese (shhhh, don’t tell anyone, it was just a little).
My American-Italian husband has always felt that greens are not to be served with a pasta meal. Well, a pasta meal to him is ONLY rigatoni and red sauce, a meatball or two, some hot sausage and if you want to give him Chicken Parm and
/or Braciole he wouldn’t turn it down. He loved the dish, I WAS SHOCKED!! As well as full and satisfied. That was very, very delicious.
DH: Why haven’t we had this before?
DH: We should have this again, it’s really good!