my new friend Raab

I ordered Broccoli Raab (pronounced rob) from my produce box people this week, and was a little stumped on what to do with it. Finding recipes proved to be tricky because it operates under a number of aliases as well. Rapini, Broccoli Rabe, broccoletti di rape, broccoletto, broccoli di foglia, cime de rape, or rape, or Chinese broccoli or Chinese flowering cabbage. Yeesh.

Here's what it looks like, fresh from the salad spinner: Purple and leafy, and firm. I found a couple of ways to use it, but settled on tweaking this recipe from Allrecipes.com. Whole wheat pasta, chicken sausage instead of pork and no 1 cup of Parmesan. The key to using this stuff is boiling and then dunking in ice water, to stop the cooking process. This removes the bitterness of greens, and it tastes like broccoli!

Has anyone else discovered chicken sausage? It is brilliant. It has the texture of sausage, but way less fat, and if you get an Italian flavor, you really don't feel as though you are missing out. Such a great thing! Basically, its ground chicken with spices. Neat. According to the package I bought, has only 100 calories per link, and 3 grams of fat. Yippee! I made a double batch, to freeze some, so you can cut this recipe in half if you don't want to eat this for a week..

Sara's Pasta with Greens and Sausage
2 bunches raab, cut into 2 inch pieces
1.5 lbs hot Italian chicken sausage
12 oz whole wheat penne
1 TBS olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 large shallot, diced
28 oz quartered artichoke hearts
28 oz roasted peppers (I used canned)
8 oz sundried tomato halves - not packed in oil - reconstituted in hot water
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp Parmesan cheese per serving
  1. Pour hot water over your sundried tomatoes just enough to cover them, and soften. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water to make a water bath. (More ice than water). Set aside.
  4. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli raab, stir and boil for about 4 minutes. Drain, and plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  5. Bring another large pot of water to a boil - keep hot until you are ready to cook the penne.
  6. In a large skillet, squeeze the sausage out of its casings into the skillet over medium heat. This will brown quickly, and not leave a lot of fat. Remove from pan, set aside.
  7. Add olive oil to the hot pan, and saute the onion and shallots until they brown a little - about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the penne to the boiling water, cook until al dente, about 7 minutes
  9. Add artichokes, roasted peppers, broccoli raab, drained tomatoes and sausage to the pan, heating through, for about 4 minutes. There is a lot of water in the veggies, so I like to let them sweat out their liquid.
  10. When everyone is sweated out, add the garlic, thyme, basil and oregano.
  11. Stir in the penne, and sprinkle with parmesan.

DELISH! This seems sort of labor intensive, but it really is just a lot of ingredients. I think it would be good with just the sausage and greens, but I love artichokes and sundried tomatoes together too. It is sooo good - I have yet to work out the nutritional information, so I am entering it on FitDay as pasta with meat sauce, about .5 per serving, just because even though I heap 1 cup, it is more veggies than meat, and I have to find a way to represent that in FitDay.

Here's what it looks like when finished: Happy Eating!


Teale said...

I don't think I'd touch that stuff w/a 10 foot pole, but I am a total food snob. LOL. I do, however, LOVE LOVE LOVE turkey italian sausage! I've never seen the chicken kind around here, but the turkey stuff, mm mmm good! 3 points for a full-sized, bun-length sausage, not bad!

Heather said...

thanks for posting this! it looks great. I have always wanted to try that.

Lady Vea said...

Sounds lovely - about the sausage I am also a huge fan. I can't stand turkey sausage because it has a "wet dog smell" aftertaste that turns me right off. My fav brand is Isernio http://www.isernio.com/chicksaus.html! I love the recipe and will try it myself - YUM!

Simone said...

Looks yummy.