Chock-Full Fettuccine with Sausage, Eggplant and Broccoli Rabe

November 13, 2012
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This recipe came from my desire to always use up the bits of ingredients I have left over from other recipes. The contents of this colorful pasta dish are largely overflow from buying too much at the farmer's market. This may seem like quite a few ingredients, but a lot of these things can happen concurrently and it really is easy. —MaryFrancesCooks

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut in 1/2" slices, each slice cut in 1/2" strips
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • small handfuls fine sea salt
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt
  • 1 head of broccoli rabe, ends trimmed, thoroughly washed and cut in 2” pieces
  • 7 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4" pieces spicy chorizo, quartered lengthwise, then sliced 1/4” thick
  • 3” pieces sweet sopressata, sliced 1/8” thick, then each slice cut into 4 strips
  • small handfuls Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated to taste
  • 1 pound dried fettuccine
  • 4-6 tablespoons pasta water, saved
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place your cut eggplant in a colander in a single layer and salt generously with fine sea salt. Stack additional layers of eggplant and salt on top of each layer. Let sit and drain for at least 20 minutes or longer. This takes the bitterness out.
  3. Put about a tablespoon of peanut oil on a rimmed baking pan. Spread all over with a small paper towel. Pat dry each piece of eggplant and put on the prepared pan with space in between. Place on the lowest rack in your oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the bottoms are nicely browned. When done, scrape off with a spatula and place on a plate.
  4. Meanwhile, place the broccoli rabe in a large pot. Cover with cold water, and salt with coarse sea salt. Place the pot on high heat. As soon as you start to see bubbling along the edge of the pan, remove the broccoli rabe with a slotted spoon to a strainer or colander. DO NOT DRAIN THE POT. You will use this water to boil the pasta in a little bit.
  5. Put your chopped tomatoes in a bowl. Salt with fine sea salt. Toss and let sit.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Put the minced garlic in and sauté on very low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Have your sausages and grated cheese ready. Add the sausages to the garlic and oil, raise the heat to medium and sauté for 6 minutes more. Add the broccoli rabe and toss and cook through until tender.
  8. Bring the broccoli rabe water to a boil again, adding more if necessary. Boil the fettuccine 2 minutes less than the package instructions and then test. When to your liking (I like it al dente), save some pasta water to the side, and drain the pasta.
  9. Put half of the fettuccine, half of the eggplant, half of the tomatoes, half of the broccoli rabe /garlic/sausage mixture, some cheese and 2 -3 tbs. pasta water together in a large bowl and toss. Finish with the remaining ingredients. Toss thoroughly to combine. Serve and top with more cheese if needed.

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