Rapini Sausage Recipe

by vitus
Rapini Sausage

Rapini sausage recipe typically involves sautéing or grilling Italian sausage with rapini (also known as broccoli rabe), garlic, olive oil, and sometimes additional ingredients like red pepper flakes or Parmesan cheese.

What Is Rapini Sausage?

Rapini sausage is not a specific type of sausage, but rather a dish that combines sausage and rapini (also called broccoli rabe) . It’s a popular Italian dish, often served with pasta but can also be enjoyed on its own or incorporated into other recipes like frittata.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rapini (broccoli rabe), washed and trimmed
  • 4 Italian sausage links (sweet or spicy, according to preference)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rapini and blanch for about 2 minutes. Remove from the pot and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Italian sausages and cook until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Once cooked, remove from the skillet and slice into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In the same skillet, add the olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the blanched rapini to the skillet with the garlic and olive oil. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, tossing frequently until the rapini is tender.
  5. Return the sliced sausage to the skillet with the rapini. Toss everything together and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat through.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) to taste.
  7. Serve hot, optionally garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

Tips:

Sausage Selection: Play around with different sausage flavors! Italian sausage is a classic, but consider spicy Andouille sausage for a kick, or try sweet Italian sausage for sweetness.

Don’t Overcook the Rapini: The key to delicious Rapini is achieving a balance. You want it tender-crisp, not mushy. Blanching it first helps soften the stems while maintaining a vibrant green color.

Spice it Up!: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat, or throw in some chopped fresh chilies for a more pronounced kick.

Beyond the Pan: This recipe is easily adaptable. Roast the sausage and rapini on a sheet pan for a hands-off approach, or serve it over creamy polenta for a richer experience.

Cheese, Please!: Grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled ricotta salata adds a salty richness that pairs beautifully with the other flavors. Sprinkle it on before serving for an extra burst of deliciousness.

What To Serve With

Classic Carbs:

  • Pasta: Toss the cooked rapini sausage with your favorite pasta shape for a complete meal. Orecchiette (little ears) is a traditional choice, but penne, rigatoni, or spaghetti work just as well.
  • Polenta: Creamy polenta provides a delightful textural contrast to the slightly bitter rapini and savory sausage. Drizzle with olive oil and top with your sausage and rapini mixture for a hearty and comforting dish.
  • Bread: Crusty bread is a must-have for soaking up any leftover sauce or simply enjoying the delicious flavors alongside your sausage and rapini. Think focaccia, ciabatta, or a good old-fashioned baguette.

Fresh And Light Sides:

  • Arugula Salad: The peppery bite of arugula salad cuts through the richness of the sausage and adds a refreshing element to the meal. Dress it simply with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, or add shaved Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower add flavor and healthy goodness to your plate. Toss them with olive oil, herbs, and spices before roasting for a colorful and satisfying side dish.
  • Grilled Summer Squash: For a lighter summer option, grill some zucchini, yellow squash, or eggplant slices. They add a sweet touch and a nice texture that contrasts with the sausage and rapini.

Hearty Options:

  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic comfort food pairing that goes perfectly with the savory sausage and slightly bitter rapini.
  • Roasted Garlic Risotto: Elevate your meal with a luxurious side of roasted garlic risotto. The creamy texture and rich garlic flavor complement the rapini sausage beautifully.

Sweet Endings:

  • Simple Green Salad: End your meal on a light note with a simple green salad dressed with a light vinaigrette.
  • Fruit Salad: A refreshing fruit salad with a touch of sweetness is a perfect way to cleanse the palate after a flavorful meal.

Health Benefits

  1. Nutrient-rich Rapini: Rapini, or broccoli rabe, is a cruciferous vegetable loaded with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K and folate, iron, calcium, and fiber. These nutrients support various bodily functions, including immune health, bone health, and digestion.
  2. Lean Protein from Sausage: Depending on the type of sausage used in the recipe, it can provide a good source of lean protein. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth and keeping you feeling full and satisfied, which can aid in weight management.
  3. Healthy Fats: Some sausage varieties contain healthy fats, particularly those made from lean meats like chicken or turkey. These fats are necessary for optimal brain function, hormone production, and nutrient absorption.
  4. Heart Health: Including rapini in your diet may promote heart health due to its high fiber content and antioxidants. Fiber helps lower cholesterol levels and promotes heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease. Additionally, rapini contains compounds like sulforaphane, which may have anti-inflammatory and heart-protective effects.
  5. Blood Sugar Regulation: The fiber content in rapini and the protein from sausage can help regulate blood sugar levels. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
  6. Antioxidant Protection: Both rapini and certain types of sausage contain antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This protection can potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  7. Weight Management: Including rapini sausage in your diet can be part of a balanced meal plan for weight management. The combination of protein, fiber, and nutrients helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of overeating.
  8. Versatile Recipe: This recipe can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences and restrictions. For example, you can choose a leaner sausage option or substitute with plant-based sausage for a vegetarian or vegan version. You can also adjust the seasoning and cooking method to suit your taste preferences and nutritional goals.

Final Thoughts

Sausage and rapini might seem like an unlikely pair, but trust me, this combo is a revelation. It’s a hearty, satisfying, and healthy dish, with the savory sausage perfectly complementing the broccoli’s slightly bitter bite. It’s quick enough for a weeknight meal yet impressive enough to serve to guest.

Other Sausage Recipes:

Rapini Sausage

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 5 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 430 calories 35 grams fat

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch rapini (broccoli rabe), washed and trimmed
  • 4 Italian sausage links (sweet or spicy, according to preference)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rapini and blanch for about 2 minutes. Remove from the pot and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Italian sausages and cook until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Once cooked, remove from the skillet and slice into bite-sized pieces.
  3. In the same skillet, add the olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the blanched rapini to the skillet with the garlic and olive oil. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, tossing frequently until the rapini is tender.
  5. Return the sliced sausage to the skillet with the rapini. Toss everything together and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to heat through.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) to taste.
  7. Serve hot, optionally garnished with grated Parmesan cheese.

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