Broccoli rabe and sausage seem like a match made in heaven.
They go well together especially with a short pasta like ziti. When cooked with pasta, the broccoli and sausage pieces get into the crevices of the noodle and it is so good. The crunchy broccoli is beautifully offset by the richness of the sausage.
Broccoli rabe is a favorite of mine – full of vitamins and delicate in flavor. And it’s just stunning when presented on the plate. A favorite of Italians and Americans alike.
Ziti with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus 1 tablespoon for the pasta water
- 1 pound ziti
- ½ pound sweet Italian sausage, meat removed from casings and crumbled
- 2 pounds broccoli rabe, cleaned and cut
- ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, heavy skillet with a fitted lid, then toss in the garlic and sauté, uncovered, until golden—about 2 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. When you are ready and the water is boiling, add the ziti to the pot and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, add the sausage meat to the oil and garlic, and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, 1 cup pasta-boiling water, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the pepper flakes; cover, and steam 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook the sauce uncovered over high heat for about 3 minutes, until the liquids are slightly reduced. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce, and toss gently. Sprinkle on half of the cheese, toss again, and distribute the remaining cheese over the pasta. Serve immediately.