One of my all-time favorite dishes is Sausages with Broccoli Rabe. The combination of these two powerhouse flavors melts together to make an incredibly satisfying meal. This sausage flavored with garlic and fennel surrounded by the slightly bitter green is a match made in heaven. If you have never tried this you are in for a treat.
Ingredients for Sausage with Broccoli Rabe:
serves 4 - 6
2 1/2 pounds broccoli rabe
1 1/2 pounds Italian Sweet Sausage, thinly sliced
5-6 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus a little more for the glass baking dish
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Time-Saving Tip: You can cook the broccoli rabe in advance, cool and store until ready to continue with the recipe.
Let's see what we need.
Trim the ends off of the broccoli rabe. Then cut into 3 " pieces. Rinse well.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Have a colander resting in a bowl nearby so you can scoop the cooked broccoli rabe into the colander when ready. Also, set up a large bowl with cold water and some ice cubes to transfer cooked vegetable. Add the broccoli rabe to the pot. You may have to do this in 2-3 batches. Give it a stir. Cook for about 3 minutes until nearly tender, Don't overcook. Using tongs transfer the broccoli rabe to the colander. Let drain and then transfer to a bowl of ice water, This will stop the broccoli rabe from overcooking. If you want, after water bath you can drain well and store to use later.
With a paper towel lightly coat the inside of the glass baking dish with olive oil. Place the sausage in the dish and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes until just done. Turn a few times while cooking. Once cooked slice each sausage into 3 pieces. Do the cutting in the baking dish to collect any juices. Set aside.
Add the 4 tablespoons of oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper to a very large 14 " pan or the pot you boiled the broccoli. Saute on medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant. Do not brown the garlic. The add the broccoli rabe and season with salt and pepper. Toss around until heated and pour in the sausages. Then take a few pieces of the broccoli rabe and return to the baking dish and swirl around to try try get any sausage juice. We don't want to leave any flavor behind. Pour into the pan. Saute until heated.
It's ready! Leftovers taste great as is or can even be mixed with pasta, eggs or eaten as a hero. This dish is perfect for entertaining since it tastes delicious hot or room temperature and can be made ahead. Serve with good Italian bread and you will love this.