PlazaJen: The Blog

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Ohhhh Rapiniiiiiiii You Are So Dreaaaammmmyyyyy

I love broccoli. A few years ago, the Wo planted broccoli Rabe and we snarfed it up. This year, he planted a Rapini variety called “Rapa Senza Testa”. Wellza, Weza Liked itz a Lotza!

It helps to like greens, and broccoli and spinach, if you’re going to cook with Rabe or Rapini.

Here are the cleaned leaves from the plant:
Rapini and Sausage Pasta

I picked a variety of leaves – some bigger and older, some were newer and greener. With the older leaves, I tore the leafy part into goodly-sized chunks, and avoided the stem, especially at the base. (That part can get tough.) I left more of the stem on with the younger shoots. Two plants yielded about 5 cups or so of the green stuff – and while that sounds like a lot, you will quickly see how it disappears when cooked!

I started with a big ol’ Vidalia onion, and sauteed it in olive oil until it was semi-soft. Then I added some minced garlic. (So as to not burn the garlic, since it takes a lot less time to cook.)
onions and garlic, mmmmm

Once everything’s soft and cooked, here comes the mound of Rapini:

Rapini and Sausage Pasta

Which quickly becomes this:

Rapini and Sausage Pasta

Meanwhile, a quick trip to Fritz’s yielded the protein in the dish (Sweet Italian Sausage Links):

Rapini and Sausage Pasta

Now, you can use a spicy sausage, and it doesn’t have to be in link form – you can cook it up with the onions, just drain off the fat. I’ve made similar dishes with spicy meat and it’s equally delicious. These links are pre-cooked, so I didn’t have to worry about cooking time. Just sliced them up into delicious rounds, and added them to the mixture.

Rapini and Sausage Pasta

I added freshly-ground pepper, and about a cup of water with a couple chicken bouillon cubes half-dissolved, and let it simmer. This is a brothy pasta topping, and since the bouillon already had plenty of salt, I didn’t add anything else. Since you’ve got a stronger component with the greens, balanced with the sweeter meat (or robustly complemented, if using a spicy version), you really don’t need a lot of herbs or other seasonings – of course if you want to throw in some basil, or something else, experiment away!

Spoon it over a nice curved-shape pasta – these were called “gnocchi” even though they were actually just a little fancier shell-shape. Trumpets, corkscrews, rigatoni – you want shape and the ability to grab a little extra juice. My photo got a little blurry, but you get the idea. Top it with some fancy Parmesan, or powdery, depending on what you did or did not remember to get at CostCo, pour yourself a nice cheerful white wine to keep it light, and savor the flavors!

Rapini and Sausage Pasta

In other gifts from the garden, here’s a shot of the stir fry I made the next night, with four days’ worth of snow pea harvesting:

Snowpea Stir Fry

6 Comments

  1. Ours is doing well too . . . I sauteed onions and chunks of thick bacon, added the leaves with salt and pepper, a little sugar, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Very hearty, deep flavor — only problem was there wasn’t enough!

  2. I love greens of any kind & snap peas lol can I come run through your garden lol. Your food looks delicious.

  3. Damn girl that looks good!

  4. i am envious of those who live where harvesting has already started. our plants are all still so small. the deluge of rain we’ve been getting i’m sure hasn’t been part of that problem…ugh. so. sick. of. rain!

  5. Can I come live with you?

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