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Pasta with Rapini & Sausage
Italy - Apulia
  -   Pasta con Cime di Rapa e Salsiccia
5 pasta  
45 min  
A simple, easy to make, but satisfying pasta dish. It can also serve as a light main dish for three.

Rapini (1)  
Sausage (2)
Olive Oil, ExtV (3)
Chili Flake (4)
Pasta (5)
Prep   (10 min)
  1. Cut Rapini into about 1 inch lengths (stems and all). Split any overly large stems in half lengthwise.
  2. Skin the SAUSAGES and chop up very small. Best to do this with a slicing motion to assure membranes are cut.
  3. Crush GARLIC and chop fine.
Run   (30 min)
  1. Heat Olive Oil and fry Sausage over fairly low heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until it is lightly browned.
  2. Stir in Garlic, Chili Flake and Salt. Continue to fry until garlic just threatens to color. Keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile:   Bring plenty of salted water to a boil for the Pasta. Stir in the Rapini and cook until just tender - this will take about 3 minutes - don't overcook. Skim out and refresh in cold water.
  4. Cook Pasta the usual way. When it is within seconds of being al dente, stir in rapini just long enough to heat it through. Drain.
  5. Return Pasta mix to the pot and Stir the Sausage mix.
  6. Serve hot.
  1. Rapini:   (Broccoli Rabe, or Cime di Rapa in Italian) This is not actually Broccoli, but a turnip green, related to Bok Choy, that looks and tastes a lot like broccoli. If you can't get it (or your local market calls it "Baby Broccoli" and asks an unacceptable yuppified price for it), you can substitute Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan), which looks like Rapini, but is actually a Broccoli. If all else fails - regular Broccoli is quite popular in Italy. For details see our Cabbage Greens page.
  2. Sausage:   Use a well seasoned mild Italian sausage, or one just a little hot. Other well seasoned sausages can be used, but the flavor will differ.
  3. Olive Oil:   How much you use depends on your sausage. The sausage from my local Italian market is well seasoned, but so low in fat I have to use more than 2 T of Olive Oil, both to fry the sausage and sauce the pasta. Some similar recipes solve this problem with diced salt pork.
  4. Chili Flake:   I use Korean flake, which is very available around here. It's not very hot, so I doubled the amount in the pattern recipe - it's still pretty undetectable. Use your own best judgement. For details see our Chili Page.
  5. Pasta:   The pattern recipe called for Orecchiette, which may be traditional in Apulia, but I found a pasta more shape compatible with the Rapini stems much better. The photo example uses Rotini. Some similar recipes use Penne. for details see our Italian Short Past Shapes page.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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