California Central Coast Recipes
Brocollini with Italian Sausage and Gemelli Pasta
We love the broccoli family of vegetable. it's a low-cost vegetable that's packed with good health qualities. Brocolini is another member of the broccoli family, but has a subtle difference in taste and dramatic difference in looks. It's very high in anti-oxidants and vitamins and when served with a little Italian sausage and then topped with a little Parmesan Cheese, is a very robust meal.
Preparation time: 30 minutesCooking time: 30 minutes
4 to 5 Tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil
8 ounces Italian sausage ,removed from casings or Bulk Italian sausage that's been doctored up with a little dried fennel and Italian seasoning
1/2 large white onion , thinly sliced
3 cloves Garlic , peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper flakes
1 pound Brocollini , washed thoroughly and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 Cup White wine
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 pound Pasta such as Gemelli
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Wash the Brocllini well. Slice the greens crosswise into 1/2 inch-wide pieces and set aside. Slice the thinner part of the stems into bite-sized pieces. Discard the very thick stems.
2 In a large stockpot with lid, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. 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.
3 Add in the sliced onions and separate into individual strands. Saute until softened. Add in more olive oil if necessary. Add in the Garlic and Crushed red pepper flakes. When fragrant, deglaze with the white wine.
4 Shake off excess water from the Brocollini. Add the greens and stems to the pot. Stir well to distribute the greens, stems and onion-sausage mixture evenly throughout the pot.
5 Add in the salt and gently toss the greens, picking up the onion-sausage mixture from the bottom. Add in the black pepper.
6 Cook, stirring often until the brocollini is softened (about five minutes or so.)
7 Taste the brocollini. Correct the seasonings for your personal taste. Stir and turn off heat.
8 In the meantime, in a separate pasta pot, bring water to boiling over high heat.
9 Add in salt, give a stir then add in pasta. Cook until al dente, or as directed on pasta package and stir occasionally.
10 When pasta is done, drain making sure that some water clings to the pasta. Add pasta to stockpot. Toss thoroughly.
11 Portion pasta onto dinner plates and serve with Parmesan cheese at the table.
There is some earthiness in the brocollini 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.