Rapini or broccoli rabe? What do you call it? I grew up always calling it rapini and was very confused to learn that there was another name for the bitter green I’ve grown to love so much over the years.
I’m used to eating it the way my Nonna prepares it. She boils it in water to take some of the bitterness out and to tenderize the stems. Then sautés it with garlic, olive oil, and salt. Over the past couple of years, I’ve enjoyed preparing it the same way, but also pairing it with Italian sausage. The two compliment each other so well.
The reason I enjoy this dish so much is because after the rapini is boiled, it’s charred in the oven in the same pan the sausage roasts in, allowing it to soak in all of the flavors from the sausage. I also decided to roast some lemons on top of the rapini and top it all with shaved parmesan after it comes out of the oven. These simple steps really elevate the dish and give it more depth.
There is a little bit of waiting involved in the dish, but a lot of it is just letting your oven do its magic. If you end making it, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats!
Charred Rapini with Italian Sausage
- 4 large Italian sausage links
- 3 bunches of raw brocolli rabe
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup of shaved parmesan
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When the oven is done preheating, add the sausage to a 9X13 baking dish. Bake the sausage in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping it halfway through. When thirty minutes has passed, remove the sausage from the oven and cut it into thick slices. Set aside, but save the baking dish.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high-heat. Wash the rapini with water and trim about an inch off the stems. Add the rapini to the pot, ensuring that the greens are fully submerged in the water. Let the rapini boil for five minutes until the stems are tender. When the rapini is done boiling, place the rapini in an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice and cold water). Once cooled, remove the water from the bowl and squeeze the rapini with your hands until all of the water is removed from the vegetable. Set aside.
Add the squeezed rapini to the baking dish (the same one you cooked the sausage in) along with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Mix everything together and spread the rapini evenly on the pan. Top with the sausage slices and place the pan back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, take the pan out of the oven and flip the sausage slices. Add the lemon slices and bake the dish for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with shaved parmesan.