California Central Coast Recipes

Broccoli Rabe (Rappini) with Italian Sausage and Mezze Penne Pasta

Broccoli Rabe (or Rappini ) is an inexpensive green that's high in anti-oxidants and vitamins and is a great ingredient for a hearty and healthy dinner entree. A relative of the broccoli family, when it's cooked with a little Italian sausage and pasta, then topped with a little Parmesan cheese it's delicious.

We have heard from a few of our second-generation Italian friends that this was a typical supper offering while growing up when meat was expensive and their parents were on a tight budget. Times haven't changed much. We're still looking at ways to save money. This recipe is a delicious way to stretch your dinner budget and enjoy yourself at the same time! 2017, Broccoli Rabe (Rappini) with Italian Sausage and Mezze Penne Pasta
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


4 to 5 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
5 ounces Italian sausage , .removed from casings
1/2 large white onion , thinly sliced
1 pounds Broccoli Rabe , washed thoroughly
1/2 Cup White wine
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 pound Pasta such as Mezze Penne
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation Directions.

1 Wash the Broccoli Rabe well. Slice the greens crosswise into 3/4-1 inch-wide pieces and set aside. If the stems are coarse, trim off the thicker parts and discard.

2 In a large stockpot with lid, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat.

3 Add in the Italian sausage, separating into little pieces, saute until lightly cooked. Unless the sausage is excessively fatty, there's no need to drain off the moderate amount of oil. This will add flavor to the greens and help cook the onions.

4 Add in the sliced onions and separate into individual strands. Saute until softened. Add in more olive oil if necessary.

5 Deglaze with the white wine.

6 Shake off excess water from the Broccoli Rabe. Add the greens to the pot. Stir well to distribute the greens and onion-sausage mixture evenly throughout the pot.

7 Add in the salt and gently toss the greens, picking up the onion-sausage mixture from the bottom. Add in the black pepper.

8 Cook, stirring often until the broccoli rabe is wilted (about four or five minutes.)

9 Taste the broccoli rabe. Correct the seasonings for your personal taste. Stir and turn off heat.

10 In the meantime, in a separate pasta pot, bring water to boiling over high heat.

11 Add in salt, give a stir then add in pasta. Cook until al dente, or as directed on pasta package and stir occasionally.

12 When pasta is done, drain making sure that some water clings to the pasta. Add pasta to stockpot. Toss thoroughly.

13 Portion pasta onto dinner plates and serve with Parmesan cheese at the table.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

There is some earthiness in the broccoli rabe which will not go well with tannins or overly sweet wines. The best choice to serve with this dish is a dry white wine like a young Sauvignon Blanc, or a dry Alsatian style Riesling.

A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind