Penne with Sausage, Beans and Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)
posted by Kalyn Denny on March 24, 2006
I’ve been on a quest to get my Salt Lake City markets to stock Broccoli Rabe (pronounced raab). I live in the center of Salt Lake and within blocks of my house I have Costco, Smith’s Food King, Albertson’s, and Wild Oats, and I couldn’t find it at any of them. Smith’s promised to get it for me, but when I went to pick up my Broccoli Rabe, it turned out to be broccolini, quite tasty, but not what I was after. This week Smith’s called again to say they had Broccoli Rabe for me (also called Rapini.) But when I went to pick it up, the produce label said Rappini, and I also didn’t see the small buds that were supposed to resemble broccoli. It was only when I decided to cook my Rappini and found a few very small “broccoli” buds that I was convinced that this was really Broccoli Rabe.
According to Gourmet Sleuth, broccoli rabe is low in calories and carbs. It’s commonly called Rapini, or simply Rabe, but here’s a list of other names for Broccoli Rabe from around the world. A quick survey of online recipes for Broccoli Rabe showed that it’s commonly paired with pasta, sausage, beans, garlic, balsamic vinegar, or Parmesan. The recipe I came up with is certainly not unique, but it was completely a keeper for me. This is something I know I will make again and again.
Penne with Sausage, Garbanzo Beans, and Broccoli Rabe
(Makes 6 full-meal servings or 8 small servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from many online recipes.)
5 links hot turkey Italian Sausage (19.5 oz.)
1 large bunch Broccoli Rabe (next time I might double it, which would lower the carbs)
1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed very well and drained
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
3 cups (dry) Dreamfield’s Penne
(reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a 12 inch frying pan and squeeze sausage out of casing into pan. Saute until very well browned, breaking up into smaller pieces with turner. While sausage browns, rinse beans very well (until all foam is gone) and let drain.
Wash Broccoli Rabe very well (I used a salad spinner) and then cut crosswise into ribbons. I also chopped some of the stems, but discarded the bottom portion of the stem.
In large deep frying pan, heat olive oil, add Broccoli Rabe, and saute until it has shrunk by half. Add sausage and beans to Broccoli Rabe. Deglaze sausage pan with 1/4 cup chicken stock, and add that and balsamic vinegar to pan with Broccoli Rabe, sausage and beans.
Let sausage/veggie mixture braise while you bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne 9-10 minutes, or until barely al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta well and put back into pot you cooked pasta in. Add sausage/veggie mixture and pasta cooking water and stir to combine. Cook 2 minutes, then add parmesan cheese, stir once more, and serve hot.
I made this with Dreamfield’s Pasta, with only 5 net carbs per serving, and beans are considered a *good* carb on The South Beach Diet. Still, if you eat this as a full-meal serving it’s probably best for phase three. If you’re on phase two, I would recommend a small serving of this, with a big green salad on the side. (Edit June 2011 – I have recently learned that if Dreamfields pasta is cooked for a long time or reheated it increases the glycemic index, so this recipe is probably only for phase 3 if reheated.)