Gemelli with Rapini, Sausage and Raisins

By Oui, Chef
January 12, 2010
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Author Notes: Orecchiette with broccoli rabe (rapini) and sausage is a classic southern Italian dish that I have loved for years. This is my spin on the classic that trades Gemelli for orecchiette for its more toothsome bite, adds plump golden raisins for little pockets of sweetness, and pine nuts for a vein of earthy crunch. To assuage the kid's palates, I make mine with sweet Italian sausage amped with a touch of red pepper flakes. If you prefer it a bit spicier, by all means substitute hot Italian sausage.Oui, Chef

Serves: 6-8

  • 1 pound Gemelli Pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth reduced by half to 1 cup
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • freshly peeled parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  1. Set a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.
  2. Place low-sodium chicken stock in a pan and reduce by half to 1 cup, add dry white wine and reserve.
  3. Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry skillet, reserve.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, squeeze sausages from their casings, dropping bite-sized pieces in the hot skillet to saute, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausages to a bowl, leaving behind the drippings in the skillet.
  5. Cook the pasta to producers instructions for al dente.
  6. Trim the ends, wash, dry, and cut the brocolli rabe into 1-1/2” pieces. Add to the drippings in the skillet and saute over medium-high heat until wilted and just starting to take color. Add the sliced garlic and pepper flakes and cook 1-2 minutes, add the reduced chicken broth, wine, and raisins and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli rabe is just starting to soften, but still has a nice bite to it.
  7. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet, chuck in a few large knobs of butter and the pine nuts, and toss to combine. Check seasoning for salt and pepper, and serve topped with ribbons of freshly peeled parmesan.

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