This is a simple pasta dish that my famiglia has enjoyed for many years. It requires the making of your own fresh pasta noodles and is so worth the effort for this classic and delicious dish (you can also purchase fresh egg pappardelle if you prefer.) —cucina di mammina
NOTE: You will find my recipe for homemade pasta dough on my food blog at:
www.cucinadimammina.com or you can purchase fresh egg noodle pappardelle at your local Italian market or online.
Heat a tall medium to large pot of water on the stove and wash, trim and cut the broccoli rabe into small pieces. Once the water is boiling; add the broccoli rabe and blanch for about 2-3 minutes at the most. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and let drain. Set the pot of cooking water aside for later use.
Remove the sausage meat from the casings and brown the loose meat in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Once slightly browned, remove and set aside. Add a drizzle of oil and a few sliced garlic cloves and sauté until you can smell the aroma, do not fry or brown the garlic.
Remove the garlic and discard. Add the blanched broccoli rabe and sauté in the seasoned oil for a few minutes (add a bit of the leftover water to aid in the cooking); season with salt and pepper to taste. Take the browned sausage meat and about half of the white wine in to the broccoli rabe; sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes allowing the alcohol to burn off (add more wine if you think it needs more liquid, looks too dry.) Saute for a few more minutes and remove from the heat.
Return the pot of reserved water to the stove and let come to a boil. Add salt to the water and once boiling, add in the fresh egg pappardelle noodles and cook for only a few minutes until tender (fresh pasta cooks very quickly compared to dry; check it often and drain the noodles when done.) Be sure to reserve the cooking water and set aside.
Using a large deep skillet, add the cooked pappardelle noodles and the sauteed sausage and broccoli rabe mixture on medium heat and mix well, being careful not to break the noodles. Add some reserved cooking water (just enough to moisten the mixture and allow it to cook together) and cook until the liquid has reduced a bit.
Remove from the heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil and, if desired, some hot red pepper flakes to taste.
Serve immediately with plenty of grated parmigiano-reggiano to share table side and a good quality red wine to accompany this dish.