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 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!
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!
Our World Tuesday
"Alphabe" Thursday..the letter this week is "O"
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