Friday, November 16, 2007

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Italian Sausage

On Tuesday night, as planned, we had a delicious dish that I like to make when broccoli rabe is in season. I feel like I've seen variations on this dish a lot - in cookbooks and online. This is my take on this dish.

I love broccoli rabe's strong flavor that, to me, enhances a dish. I know a lot of people say that you have to blanch it to reduce its bitterness, but I find simply cooking it as I do below makes it taste just fine.

And as for the Italian sausage part of this dish, as I've mentioned before, I am a fan of faux meat. And often real meat squicks me out when I have to cook with it. So, my discovery of Tofurky's vegetarian Italian sausages was thrilling -- they are YUMMY! My husband, who is not so much a fan of the fake meat, even likes them. In fact, he really likes them. This is a high recommendation, believe you me. You should be able to find them in the refrigerated tofu section of your store. But if you enjoy the real thing, that would of course work very well! Just be sure to remove the casing and sautee until browned.

Dena's Pasta with Broccoli Rabe & Italian Sausage

1 pound pasta (as you know, I always use whole wheat)
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tofurky Italian sausages, sliced
1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped and washed
1/2 cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken stock
2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan, grated, to taste

Cook pasta in salted water. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tsp olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat; when it shimmers, add sausage and let it brown on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add 2 tsbp olive oil to skillet and add garlic and onion. When it's fragrant, add broccoli rabe and chicken stock, letting it simmer until broccoli rabe is wilted and tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Add hot pepper flakes, sausage, and pasta to skillet. Toss to coat pasta, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated parmesan on top. Autumnal and yummy!

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