Beans and Franks Anyone?

This here isn’t your usual Beenie Weenies! No sir! Instead, this is spicy Italian sausage sauteed with Broccoli Rabe (AKA Rapini) and Cannellini Beans and served over polenta. Yummmmm. Stephan isn’t a big fan of it, but its one of my absolute favorite things to order at an authentic Italian restaurant. Broccoli Rabe has a very distinctive, bitter flavor. Some find it too bitter, but I love the flavor of it and even like it sauteed with a little garlic as a side dish.


Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and White Bean Recipe

3 c broccoli rabe, cut into large pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
2 links spicy sausage, removed from casing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c dry white wine
1 can cannellini beans with liquid
parmesan cheese, grated

1. Bring at least 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Stir in the broccoli rabe and let come back to a boil. Immediately remove broccoli rabe from boiling water and shock in a bowl of ice water. When cool, drain water and set aside. This is called blanching and parcooks the broccoli rabe.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add sausage and brown, while breaking up as much as possible with the back of a wooden spoon. When the sausage is browned, add the garlic and stir around for a few minutes to release the flavor.

3. De-glaze pan with the white wine and stir up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Let simmer for a minute or so, and most of the wine will evaporate. Pour in the can of white beans with the liquid, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the blanched broccoli rabe and stir just to warm through. Do not overcook, or the broccoli rabe will be mushy. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve over polenta with plenty of parmesan cheese stirred in. Sprinkle top with more parmesan cheese.

Makes 2-3 Servings

Note: This is also delicious tossed with Pasta… preferably a tube shaped pasta, if you don’t care for polenta.

Note 2: If you don’t like sausage, by all means omit it. It would make a great vegetarian dinner too.