Pasta with Spicy Sausage and Rapini (Market Monday)

I was walking past the Native Hill Farm stand at the farmers’ market Saturday, contemplating what to make for this week’s Market Monday recipe when I overheard a conversation about how well their baby rapini paired with spicy Italian sausage.

Perfect! Especially since I had some spicy Italian sausage at home in the freezer.  I had a feeling a pasta dish was in the works
rapini collage Native Hill Farm is one of the few vendors at the market already offering fresh produce (things are a few weeks behind in Colorado this year, thanks to all the late-season snow).  And in my opinion, they always have one of the nicest looking stands at the market.

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Native Hill Farm is a four season, family run vegetable farm located in north Fort Collins, Colorado. Their fresh produce is available at the Larimer County Farmers’ Market on Saturday, through their variety of CSA programs, and every Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm at the Beaver’s Market Farm Stand.  You can read all about their farm on their website.

On of the things I love about the farmer’s market, besides the fresh, locally grown food, is the ability to find things (like rapini) that aren’t always available in grocery stores.  If you’ve never heard of rapini, it often goes by the name broccoli raab (or rabe), which may be more familiar.  It’s used extensively in Italian and Chinese cooking, and interestingly is closely related to turnips, not broccoli.

It’s as easy as Google to find rapini recipes on the web, and I have to say, this pasta dish was a huge hit with my family.  Honestly, I thought the kids would turn their noses up at the wilted green stuff in their pasta, but they cleaned their plates!  The sour cream based sauce is definitely less fattening than a traditional cream sauce–I almost convinced myself that along with the healthy greens, I was cancelling out all that sausage and cheese.  Almost.  You could definitely substitute another type of greens if you can’t find rapini.  This would also be tasty with the addition of mushrooms.
pasta with sausage and rapinia

Pasta with Spicy Sausage and Rapini
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces bow tie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped rapini leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Remove sausage from casings, if necessary, and add to the pan. Cook the sausage, breaking it up as you go, until no longer pink.
  4. Add the rapini to the skillet and sauté until it begins to wilt, about one minute more.
  5. Transfer the sausage and rapini mixture to a plate and keep warm.
  6. Drain excess grease from the pan and return to stove over medium heat.
  7. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  8. Stir in the sour cream and milk.
  9. Add the cheeses and stir until melted and smooth.
  10. Return the sausage/rapini mixture to the skillet, along with the cooked pasta, and toss to coat.
  11. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

I hope you enjoy this week’s Market Monday recipe and are inspired to try something new!  Just FYI:  I spent $2.50 on a huge bunch of rapini and another $3.50 on a fresh baked baguette to go along with our meal, for a total of $6 spent at this week’s market.

Remember to follow along on Facebook,  Twitter, and Google+, or follow the Farmers’ Market and Garden Recipes board on Pinterest for the latest market fresh recipes.

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