Author Notes: Broccoli Rabe, AKA, Rapini is a very common Southern Italian staple. Italians love their greens, which may attribute to their overall health. While many think its all meat and pasta, there is a definite balance, and vegetables and fruits are a mainstay. In fact, until the Mid-Sixteen Century Neapolitans were called Mangiafoglie or Leaf Eaters. (Source:Naples at Table by Arthur Schwartz)
I grew up with Tess cooking all sorts of greens, but I never cared for the Italian ones. They can be an acquired taste because they can be bitter. But, cooking broccoli rabe correctly is the secret to creating a greens dish that I would proudly serve as a main course.
- 1-2 bunches Broccoli Rabe/Rapini
- 1 pound Bulk Sweet or Hot Sausage (can be omitted for a vegetarian dish)
- 1 Can Cannellini Beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 Anchovies
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 splash White Wine
- 1/3 cup Chicken Broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 handful Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Separate, wash and dry the broccoli rabe. The key to removing the bitterness from the greens is to blanch them in heavily salted boiling water for five minutes and drain. If you do not take this step they will be very bitter.
- Next, sauté the garlic in olive oil in remove as soon as it starts singing and then add the anchovies and break down with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add the sausage, brown while breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once browned add in the beans and broccoli rabe, season with salt and pepper and once everything is sizzling nicely add the crushed red pepper, stir for a second and add a splash of white wine and let it sizzle in.
- Lastly, add the chicken broth (my measurement is approximate you need some liquid but you don’t want it runny). Simmer on low uncovered for about 10 minutes. Serve on a platter and sprinkle with the parmesan.