It is amazing to me that, even in the middle of winter, you can still eat vegetables from a backyard garden. I was lucky enough to be given this fresh rapini, and I knew immediately that I wanted to incorporate into a pasta dish of some sort. A while back, we had an orecchiette dish from Campagnolo, and I wanted something similar. So, I picked up some Italian sausage and parsley, and went to work!
Rapini is surprisingly easy to cook, and it is so healthy for you, that adding it to pretty much anything makes it healthy (do you like my logic??). I blanched the rapini and added it to the sausage at the end of the cooking process, just to warm it up again. It added such a great crunch, colour and flavour to the pasta.
I love adding celery to pretty much any dish. Most people don’t know this, but in Italy, celery is a crucial ingredient. They add it to salads, pasta sauces, and everything in between. I learned this when we visited, and have since added it to everything.
Sometimes, when I’m lazy, I don’t chop garlic, and instead smash it, peal it, and add it to the pan whole. It still releases all of its amazing flavours, just make sure you retrieve it before serving! In order to make this a healthy weeknight meal, I picked up some spelt Orecchiette, as it is much more full of nutrients than it’s wheat counterparts. You can hardly taste the difference (as opposed to whole wheat, which in my opinion, tastes way different). Check out my other post on pasta types.
Orecchiette with Rapini and Italian Sausage
Serves 4 as a main dish
1 lb orecchiette (spelt)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 Italian sausages (no casing)
1 bunch of rapini
2 celery stocks, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
parmesan for topping
parsley for topping
salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a big pot of water to boil with salt. Cook orecchiette according to instructions while preparing the rest of the meal.
2. Bring a smaller pot of water to boil. Blanch rapini (cut off rough stems).
3. Add oil to pan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and celery.
4. Add Italian sausages to hot pan. Cook until brown.
5. Add rapini to Italian sausage and stir.
6. Add orecchiette when completed.
7. Add parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.