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Spicy Sausage and Rapini Pasta

  • Author: Isabelle Boucher {Crumb)
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


This classic Italian pasta dish pairs bitter rapini greens with spicy Italian sausage for a spicy and satisfying weeknight meal.


  • 1 bunch rapini, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb orecchiette or cappeletti pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 red hot chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, blanch the rapini until stalks are bright green and tender-crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Don't drain - you'll need that cooking water shortly. Instead, use a slotted spoon to fish out the rapini and quickly transfer to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking process.
  2. Stir pasta into the rapini cooking water, and cook as per package directions until al dente (usually about 9-10 minutes). Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid, then drain the pasta into a colander. Set aside.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, breaking up into bite-sized chunks with a wooden spoon as you go. Stir in garlic and chile pepper, and continue cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  4. Add cooked rapini and pasta, and toss to combine. Stir in reserved cooking liquid, a few spoonfuls at a time, until the pasta is lightly coated but not too saucy. Sprinkle with Parmesan, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve right away with shakers of parmesan and dried chile flakes to allow guests to garnish as they like. Perfect with a full-bodied dry red wine and a loaf of crusty Italian-style bread.
  • Category: Main