Sunday, February 24, 2013

Craving Broccoli Rabe with Sausage and Orecchiette Pasta

 
 
 
 
Broccoli Rabe with Sausage and Orecchiette pasta is pure comfort food for an Italian family like ours.  The slightly bitter broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic and sweet sausage has a wonderful enticing taste, and the orecchiette pasta (which translates from Italian to English as "little ears") holds the juices like little cups and lets the flavor of this dish explode in every mouthful!
 
 
Broccoli Rabe or Rapini (also known as cime di rapa or broccoletti) is a common vegetable in the cuisines of southern Europe.  Despite its name, it is not related to broccoli, but rather is related to the mustard plant. It is a favorite vegetable of my husband and I and also my son-in-law. We found it easily in Brooklyn, NY, in most of the local supermarkets or green-grocers, but when we moved to Colorado it was not as readily available. The more we couldn't find it, the more we craved it!
 
 
Our local supermarkets have wonderful varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables, and, as you can see in the photo above, almost every ingredient necessary to make authentic Mexican cuisine, but our favorite vegetable, broccoli rabe, was nowhere to be found!  Thankfully, when asked, the produce manager told us they could order special order it for us, and about once a week we will finally have a supply to cook.
 

Preparing this dish is really easy....I slice about a pound of sweet Italian sausage, and saute them in olive oil in a skillet until cooked. Meanwhile, I begin to boil water for the pasta. I wash and drain a pound and a half of broccoli rabe well and cut off the ends and any hard, woody pieces of the stems, and then chop it well. To the cooked sausage I add chopped garlic to taste, a few tablespoons of Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper to taste, and about a teaspoon of dried red pepper. Next, I add the broccoli rabe and a few extra teaspoons of olive oil, if needed, and saute till the broccoli rabe is cooked and tender. I add the orecchiette pasta to the boiling salted water, and cook as per directions on the package. When cooked al dente I drain the pasta, but reserve about a cup of pasta water. I now add the pasta to the skillet and mix well over medium heat.  Add the reserved pasta water, (you can also use chicken broth), as needed, to moisten the entire contents of the skillet
 
 
 
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!
 
 

Our little granddaughter is already two weeks old , and is beginning to open her eyes and be more responsive.  I think she is beginning to look more and more like her Mommy. She definitely has her pretty dark eyes. It is a wonderful joy to hold my grand baby and watch her grow! 

My daughter and I decided to go out for lunch together this past week and I treated her to something she has been craving, but was not allowed to eat her entire pregnancy.....


Sushi!
 
Sushi can contain raw fish, so pregnant women are advised not to eat it, but now my daughter has the green light to indulge in it if she wishes. We tried some special rolls, including the decorated Dragon Roll which made us smile!   We really enjoyed this delicious platter and even more so having some quiet girl time together.  It's one of the joys I have now that we live close to each other again!
 
 
Of course, the another joy I have is also having my two grandboys and their parents close by!  The boys are fascinated by their cousin, but until she is able to run and play with them their moments together are just quick looks, touches and questions.

 
Our community had some snowfall last week, like so many other areas in the US, and it made everything look so beautiful and magical. I love the blue cast the snow gives to the foothills. I think many people think there is snow on the ground here all the time, but the weather has been quite mild, for the most part, this winter. There is always concern in Colorado about drought, which could lead to summer forest fires, and so far the snow fall has been below average. The snow pack is so thin in parts of Colorado that the government has declared an “extreme drought” around the ski havens of Vail and Aspen.  So, as much as I love the sunny blue skies we have here most of the time, I am really hoping that the snows and rains increase as spring approaches!  It is snowing again as I write this...let's hope it's a good, deep drought quenching one!
 
 
I'm adding this post to the following weekly blog events:

Mosaic Monday
Blue Monday
Our World Tuesday
Outdoor Wednesday
"Alphabe" Thursday..the letter this week is "O"
Foodie Friday
Pink Saturday

Many thanks to all the blog hosts!


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69 comments:

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

So glad you could get the broccoli rabe Pat! It's the little things that mean the most-enjoy:@)

eileeninmd said...

Pat, thanks for sharing the recipe. Your broccoli dish looks delicious. Adorable shots of your granddaughter and the grandsons. You must be a real proud grandmother. And your snowy Colorado scenes are beautiful! Have a happy week!

RoeH said...

I don't get along with Italian food well but that dish looks delicious. I'll take anything with pasta. I think it's the oregano that bothers me for some reason. I was in Sprouts once and saw some green tomatoes. The vegetable guy said he ordered them for somebody and they never picked them up. So I bought some and made fried green tomatoes.

That cute little one is adorable! Can't imagine how much fun you have with her.

Snap said...

Wonderful post, Pat. I love broccoli rabe and thankfully, there's lots of here in the Asian markets. I really like your recipe. The little one is gorgeous and growing fast. Enjoy the snow!

Michelle said...

Your dish looks so delicious and I have no doubt that your cooking skills make it absolutely authentic! Glad that you are enjoying being close to your family and I share your daughter's love for sushi!!

Carol said...

I had that for dinner last night! It is a regular on my table and one of the two things my husband knows how to make. If he volunteers to make dinner I know we are either having "red sauce" or orecchiette with sausage and rapini.

Betsy Adams said...

Glad you found your broccoli rabe. That's nice that the grocer can order it for you... Things are different in various areas of the country. When I moved from Texas to Tennessee, I couldn't (and still have trouble) find really good Tex Mex food....

Your granddaughter is gorgeous. I know you are so thrilled to be closer. How is your hubby adapting?

Beautiful weather out there. You just have the best of all worlds now!

Hugs,
Betsy

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I imagine not being able to pick up common NYC items must be a bit frustrating, it sounds like you have a very accommodating produce manager! Oh, the recipe looks fantastic, thank you for sharing!

As far as being near family - priceless! xo

Barbara F. said...

Just made a pot of broccoli rabe yesterday, it looked huge and shrunk to nothing! I ate all of it, with a sausage patty! And a piece of crusty Italian bread. Baby J is looking a lot like her mommy. xo

Old Kitty said...

I am just about to have my dinner and it's nothing as scrummy and yummy as yours! LOL!! If the greens are more mustard than brocolli does it have bite!?!? Oh but these pasta shapes are fab!

Awwwww your granddaughter is too adorable!! Oh wow!! She's a beauty! And your grandsons are such handsome boys!

Fingers crossed for more snow and rain over there!!

Take care
x

Nellie said...

We, too, enjoy broccoli rabe, but have found that it is not always available in our area, either. Your dish/recipe sounds wonderful! And - that granddaughter is precious!

ARLENE said...

Pat, your new grand daughter is gorgeous. As soon as I saw the photo, my mouth began watering. I was just thinking of this dish AFTER I shopped this week. You can be sure it will be on next week's menu now. It's wonderful that you have your family close by now.

Linda said...

I remember my Aunt making that when we visited her in New York...I will look to see if we can get the ingredients here. Your new grand daughter is a living doll...what a beauty...grand sons are adorable too! We have been getting a good amount of rain here...my state is a dry state too...so we are always happy for rain! Happy Sunday!!

guild-rez said...

Congratulations...
Grandchildren are presents from heaven; enjoy your time with them. They grow so quickly like our own children.
Loved your recipe...
Rapini is a vegetable very well known in China and in
South European. In Naples Frapini is called friarielli and grelos in Spain.
I saute Rapini with garlic over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, very delicious.

We are expecting a very large storm system originating from the USA with snow accumulating up two feet by Tuesday.
Time to get the snow shovel ready:)

The Gathering Place said...

I've never eaten broccoli rabe, but it looks delicious. Your granddaughter is so pretty in pink. How fun to be close.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Hold the sushi but give me an extra helping of that delicious orecchiette with broccoli rape and sausage -- one of my favorite meals. Pat, I guess moving to Colorado you will see plenty of chili peppers but not broccoli rape, cannoli or fava beans. How great of that grocer to order them for you. Now you can have your taste of Brooklyn in Colorado.

Willow said...

I'm glad you found a place that would order the broccoli rabe for you. I know we miss and crave certain Indonesian foods and stock up on them when we drive down into LA.
What a sweet grandgirl! Soon, the boys will be able to play with her.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

It's funny how the different regions all have their specialty products and produce. Great recipe and of course a beautiful granddaughter.

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

It's funny how the different regions all have their specialty products and produce. Great recipe and of course a beautiful granddaughter.

Claudia said...

I love this meal and you celebrated it in all its glory. Rapini only came to MN about a year ago - before that - it was hard to find. You grand-daughter has bloomed already! What fun the cousins will have! Wish you all the snow in the world plus Minnesota's snow! I'm snowed-out!

Cindy said...

Your granddaughter is so beautiful she doesn't even look real, but like a doll!
I hope you get lots of snow, we certainly have this winter and it's been a good thing. We have had drought conditions for the past two summers.

Yvette said...

That recipe looks yummy, Pat. I am definitely going to try it. Maybe when I have the kids over for supper. :)

Your granddaughter is a real little doll. They are so squishable at her age. :)

I'll be getting my own squishable in mid-May. Not too long to wait.

Now that I think on it, I don't know if I've ever had broccoli rabe before.

ellen b. said...

Good food, babies and wonderful views! So much to enjoy here, Pat!

podso said...

I've always wondered what that dish was about...it looks delicious. The baby is growing--sweet pictures!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I was thinking about you tonight when I saw the news and all the snow Denver is getting, so I guess your wish came true. What a blessing for you to be around your whole family, that baby is so adorable, eyes open and alert already, they grow so fast, enjoy every second! Happy you're getting your broccoli rabe stash out there, I love your meal, so good. I'm not a real big fan of sushi, but I appreciate the art of it! Looks like you're having lots of fun Pat!

Hanne Bente said...

Great pictures / collages showing. Sweet calloge with your little granddaughter. Wish you a good day :) Hanne Bente

Tracy said...

Oh, that pasta looks good, Pat! Broccoli rabe...mmm... Can't get that here. I miss it! Sushi--love that too. I can't imagine not having sushi for 9 months... LOL! LOVELY to see little J--such a cutie-pie! Happy Days to you all there :o) ((HUGS))

La Petite Gallery said...

What a precious face, what's not to love. Speaking of love I love
broccoli Rabe. Renee does not. I am going to make it this way, maybe
she will try it. Never made it this
way, sounds delish.
yvonne.
I am sick of the snow.

diane b said...

You had my mouth watering reading that recipe. It sounds like there are a few adjustments to be made living away from your usual food suppliers.I guess that is easy to live with when you have the advantage of cuddling those gorgeous grand children and having time with your daughter. Ours came to visit for four days It was so nice.

SmilingSally said...

What a cooperative grocer you found!

Your grandchildren are adorable.

Have a good Blue Monday, Pat.

Ann said...

I know your move was quite a cultural shock but where you live is so magnificent. With a grocer like yours you will be able to enjoy all the yummy dishes you miss. Nothing could be better than being close to those precious grandbabies!! This dish looks wonderful.
Ann

The French Hutch said...

I don't think I've ever had this dish, although we've eaten dishes in Italy we weren't sure exactly what! This looks delicious and you make it sound easy enough to prepare. I know you must miss so much about big city life. So happy you found a market that will order the Rapini for you. Such great photos you are making me hungry! I kept scrolling down and hoping to see a sweet pink bundle, and I do!!! What a precious baby, and I love her little dress with the bunny. I know city life was easy to give up for those little faces in Colorado. Burrr, looks cold, but beautiful.
Happy week Pat

~Emily
The French Hutch

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

The dish looks delish! Broccoli rabe is new to me....thanks for the introduction.

Your sweet grandgirlie looks so grown up at two weeks old. Beautiful!

Enjoy your winter wonderland....so peaceful and lovely.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

I guess your big move has been rather a culture shock for you. I hope that you find some of the things you miss in your new home. I see the sweetness in your new granddaughter and I get more excited to see the birth our first granddaughter any time now. Valerie

Lorrie said...

The pasta dish with rapini looks delicious.
What sweetness to hold your little granddaughter and to be close to all of your grandchildren. Watching them grow is such delight.
Hoping for lots of moisture to quell the drought.

Jesh St Germain said...

This dish looks so good! Which chees do you use on top?
Am surprized that a state like Colorado is concerned about water. As you probably know California had to buy water several years from other states.

Miss Jean said...

We have had a terrible time trying to find linguica here but we finally have. You may want to try out Marczyk Fine Foods on Colfax. They are a small independent grocer and concentrate on fresh, organic produce. You'll find that the snow here is different than back east. It will snow, even a lot, but will clear up and be nice in a few days. Not good for the water, though.

Enjoy your grandbabies!!!

Gary said...

Now I'm hungry!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

bettyl said...

Such a cute little one! Your recipe sounds quite nice.

acreativeharbor.com said...

Oh! love rabis ~ great post and grand daughter is so adorable ~ wonderful photography for OWT ^_^

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, Thank-you, your pasta dish looks delicious,quick and healthy! Great you are able to get broccoli rabe! And that sushi a delicious work of art! Of course once you took a photo you could savor every bite guilt free hehe. I love sushi too. What a delight to have lunch out with your daughter :) Sweet baby "J" does look like her beautiful mom. Handsome "L" and "M" are getting so big! What joy watching your grandchildren grow, being there for many special everyday family moments! Beautiful snowy scenes! Your posts are a delight Pat :) Margaret from B.C.

Betsy Brock said...

that dish looks scrumptious! I don't think I've ever had that! yum!

I always think that when people complain about snow...it melts and saturates the earth...which is a good thing for the dry summer! Not to mention, it's beautiful! ha. Enjoy!

Karen said...

Love that dragon sushi, and your mosaic is lovely!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

The food looks delicious! Love all your photos of Colorado and your mosaic!

Vee said...

Glad that you can still get the foods you enjoy even if it requires a special order. Oh I don't think the boys must wait for their little cousin to be able to run. ;D Well, not if the way my grands interact with their cousin...they've been smitten right from the beginning.

Cucina49 said...

I've made a very similar dish before, but without the broccoli rabe--I think that's a great addition! This is one of my absolute favorite pasta shapes.

Lavender Cottage said...

Thanks for your recipe, we have broccoli rabe in our grocer but I didn't know what to do with it.
Judith

James said...

Being a Brooklyn to Colorado transplant I feel your pain. Sprouts Market "Sometimes" has it as well as Whole Foods, but only sometimes. We have taken to growing our own. Welcome to Colorado

GailO said...

No brocoli rabe!? You will need to start a fad there....if they try it they will love it!

So nice to see all of these grandchildren photos:) What a smart move you made!

Sarah said...

Pat, I'm so happy for you. I know you are enjoying every moment of this time with your children and grands. That baby girl is darling. I think she looks like you.

Jim said...

Love that sushi.

Kris said...

We made that in a cooking class my Mom and I took. It was fabulous! I think I know what's for dinner tomorrow!
So happy for you to be enjoying such special times with your family!!!!
Hugs,
Kris

bj said...

So glad to hear you are enjoying your family so much.
Love all your photos...;)

RobinfromCA said...

Oh, Pat, your little granddaughter is so adorable! Being a grandma is my favorite thing, ever! My daughter also couldn't wait until she could have sushi again.
Now, I'm so hungry from reading your post I need to go eat!:-)
Robin

Chubskulit Rose said...

Such beautiful bundle of joy!

Catching up with Blue Monday!
Feeling BLUE?
Your comment is always appreciated.

Naperville Now said...

yum! most of all welcome to baby.

Judie said...

In our little southern coastal town of only 30,000 people, brocolli rabe is no where to be found. But we can find mustard greens! I will definitely try this recipe for our friends from Long Island who moved here.

It is such a blessing to be near the little ones when they are young. We moved here from Tucson because our granddaughters out there have moved up and on with their lives. One is going to Miami of Ohio, and the other is teaching in Spain! Now the littlest ones who live close by will come here to visit us a lot. They love our beach!!

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

That dish looks delicious, your granddaughter is incredibly darling, and that photo of all the grandbabes is truly precious. Yes, the snow has been a blessing. We have LOTS in Colorado Springs, and my husband has shoveled it all from the driveway and walks onto the spots that will really benefit from the moisture once it's warm enough for the snow to melt. Happy to hear you love the blue, blue skies ... even though the broccoli rabe isn't as easy to come by! :-D

Ebie said...

Pat, you have a very lovely growing family. Your pretty girl sure knows how to make Grandma smile.

I look forward to the snow melting soon to see the wildflowers this spring. Seems like life is good in CO.

backroadjournal said...

I don't know where to start first. Oh yes I do, your granddaughter is precious and I know you are enjoying every moment with her. You snow scenes are beautiful even though I am tiring of ours. And last, broccoli rabe and sausage with orecchiette is one of my favorite comfort meals...it is nice that your market is ordering it for you.

Debra @ Homespun said...

i was just reading about the thin snowpack there the other day on the net

OH what a lovely baby she is ! And how nice that they are all close by : )

As to the food...I should not have read this on break at the office because I now want to eat THAT and I know that I did not cook or pack THAT for lunch today. Looks so good! :)

Sheila said...

This looks like such a mouthwatering recipe. I am impressed that your local grocer would order especially for you. Talk about customer satisfaction! Your dear granddaughter is so sweet. I'm looking forward to all your updates. Do hope that the snow and rain continues for your area.

VBR said...

Yummy food, and a gorgeous new baby and photos of so many lovely events in your life! Thanks for sharing!!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Oh my gosh - delicious food, precious babies and beautiful landscapes all in one post! I know I would love that pasta dish - every single ingredient!

We just came back from a week in Palm Desert, California where we had the precursor to the storm that dumped lots of snow across the US. I too am thrilled for the snow since we had a drought season here last year also.

Annesphamily said...

Hi Pat! Nice to see you here. Glad you are near the family and life is treating you well. Grands are precious. We really need the snow and moisture. My backyard is piled high with the remnants of the weekend past! In 2000 I remember seeing the Colorado river just looking pathetic from the drought conditions. I keep praying we get more snow and rain this Spring as well.
Once I feel better I am looking forward to a day spent with my three daughters. It is such a precious time isn't it? Girl talk!
I just met Debi who lives near the DTC and she introduced me to Kath e with An e who lives in Aurora. I am hopeful one of these days we can get together for a nice lunch. It is hard making pans these days but my girlfriends from my days at the University Hospital always found away to get together for breakfast several times a year! SO much fun to catch up!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs Anne

Sue said...

I have never tried Broccoli rabe but the dish looks very good...and ofcourse I am very envious that you are back by the kids and the grandkids....wishing my daughter would wise up and move to Georgia....wishful thinking...

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Looks like mile high living is being good to you - a beautiful grandbaby and Italian comfort food.

Have a lovely weekend. It’s nice to be able to get out and visit old friends again.
Sam

merrilymarylee said...

I've seen broccoli rabe in the grocery store here. Now I know what to do with it. Thanks!

Tracy Cook said...

Deligtful food and gorgeous baby I have another grandchild due in 9 weeks