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Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

By Chef John Ash

This recipe goes well together with pasta or on a loaf of Italian bread. The somewhat bitter and unfamiliar broccoli rabe was unknown just a few decades ago in America when it was first planted in the Salinas Valley in California which is also famous for artichokes. It has now become a favorite for Americans and Italians alike. Try this with a glass of Vine Hill Pinot Noir.

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    Serves 2

    Total Time 1 hour

    Prep Time 45 minutes

    Difficulty Level Easy


    1/4 c olive oil

    3 large cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

    Kosher salt

    1 lb dry ziti pasta

    1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage, meat removed from casings and crumbled

    1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes

    3/4 c freshly grated Pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggianocheese


    1. 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.

    2. Bring a large pot of salted water (should taste like the sea) to a rolling boil. When you are ready and the water is boiling, add the ziti to the pot and cook until al dente.

    3. 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, salt to taste and the pepper flakes; cover, and steam 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    4. 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.

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