Rapini with sausage

 This is a Sicilian classic.  I’ve read many different recipes, most using lamb sausage.  None has tasted as good as this simple dish from Brett Grohsgal and Julia Shanks, in Winter CSA Cookbook.  I’ve made a few minor variations for my family.

Ingredients for Rapini with Sausage and Pasta

1 pound sweet lamb sausage (I used some lamb sausage I had made from scratch and already cooked.  See Minced Meats Blog #____)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch rapini (in my case a quart ziplock bag stuffed with rapini.
2-3 cloves of garlic
½ teaspoon chile flakes
¾ pound pasta (I actually used much less).
¼ cup freshly graded parmesan
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Wash the rapini and chop roughly into 1 inch pieces.
Heat a large skillet over a high heat, add the olive oil and the sausage slices and cook until the sausage starts to brown. (I used cooked sausage last time I made this, so I skipped this stage of course).
In the same pan add a bit more olive oil and the garlic and cook until the garlic starts to brown, then add the Rapini and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes, or just until it turns bright green. Add the sausage.
Meantime, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente.
Mix the vegetables, sausage and pasta together and add salt, freshly grated black pepper and lemon juice to taste.  Serve sprinkled with the grated parmesan.

Rapini with sausage compliments the pungent rapini taste with the strong lamb flavor for a perfect combination.  Brett and Julia’s other recipe uses a touch of sweetness to modify the bitterness of the rapini.

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