Spring has sprung, and in these first delicate days of milder temps, broccoli rabe makes its timid appearance. A little lesser known, broccoli rabe is a wonderful bitter green that can give your dish a nice bite. Reminiscent of kale’s powerful flavor, it can leave some scratching their head. What is it? What do you do with it? Why bother? But this precious green is packed with vitamins, flavor, and versatility….and it’s only available for a very short time, so I embrace it wholeheartedly while I can. Here, one of my absolute favorite recipes of all time, great for the broccoli rabe novice and pro alike.
Linguini with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage
- 1 box linguini
- 1 package sweet sausage
- 2 full bunches of broccoli rabe, chopped
- 4-6 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup red pepper flakes, optional
- 4-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- salt, pepper, onion & garlic powders, to taste
- Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Garlic bread, optional
In a large pot, add water and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Let the flakes sit in the water until you’re ready to cook the linguini. This is optional, but imparts spice and heat to the dish.
In a separate pan, roll the sweet sausage into balls and cook them thoroughly. Add thinly sliced garlic and sauté with sausage. Add finely chopped broccoli rabe and chicken broth, enough to fully cover the broccoli rabe/sausage mixture. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until rabe is tender. Add salt/pepper/onion powder/garlic powder as desired.
Meanwhile, remove the red pepper flakes from the pasta water by pouring the water through a colander into another pot or bowl to remove the flakes. Be sure to keep the spiced water. Transfer spiced water back to pot and boil the linguini until al dente.
Serve with the sausage mixture and plenty of broth. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Bonus Tip: You are gonna’ want some garlic bread to sop up all the goodness in the bottom of the bowl. You’re welcome. 😉