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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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