Sunday, February 7, 2010
Well the Jersey Shore got hit with another huge snowstorm! Final snowfall total here is 20.5 inches! It just happens that my daughter was home for the weekend from college to go to a concert in New York with her sister. So we all ended up snowed in together! What to do? Cook, eat, laugh, and enjoy time together! I wasn't sure what to make for dinner since I seemed to be missing at least one ingredient for everything that I wanted to make... The large bunch of broccoli rabe seemed to be calling my name. Perfect comfort food and yes I had all of the ingredients! I make pasta with broccoli rabe all of the time, but changed it up a little using ideas from Marie's most beautiful blog, Proud Italian Cook. Everything that Marie makes is spectacular!
My younger daughter doesn't like sausage and eats around it, so I love that Marie added beans for some extra protein. I cooked my sausage separately and sliced it making it easy to avoid :) I used broccoli rabe sausage and it was just delicious! I also love Marie's addition of roasted tomatoes - perfect!
For dessert I made Marie's delicious rice pudding. Simple and delightful!
Pasta with Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, Cannellini Beans & Roasted Tomatoes
1 lb. Orecchiette Pasta
1 large bunch Broccoli Rabe (washed and trimmed)
1lb. Italian Sausage (cooked and sliced)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of minced garlic
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup of reserved pasta cooking liquid
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Roasted Tomatoes to taste
I started by roasting the tomatoes and cooking the sausage. Simply sliced tomatoes, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil roasted at 400 degrees. The sausage went in a separate pan and cooked beside the tomatoes.
Next, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the broccoli rabe for 1-2 minutes, strain out the broccoli rabe and add to an ice bath to stop the cooking and keep the lovely vibrant green color. Reserve the cooking water, return it to a boil, add the orecchiette, and cook for 11 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.
While the pasta is cooking, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large saute pan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute the garlic until fragrant and softened. Toss in the cannellini beans and strained broccoli rabe. Next add the roasted tomatoes to heat them up.
Drain the cooked pasta and place in a large bowl. Top with the sliced sausage, broccoli rabe, beans, and tomatoes. Moisten with some of the reserved pasta water. Add the grated cheese and fresh pepper to taste.