Friday, February 24, 2012

Rabe, Sausage & Polenta

I would usually save this for a cold winter's night, but since that never came this year, a February weeknight will have to do.
50F is not really comfort food weather, but I am not complaining.

This is so easy and delivers soul satisfaction. I only ask that you seek out good Italian homemade sausage. No supermarket crap please. I buy from my butcher and keep it in the freezer until farmer's market season, when he sells it fresh from the stand. Trust me, it makes a big difference.

Fresh "Andy Boy" broccoli rabe (it's only good from the supermarket!) and polenta. Nothing else needed.

You will need a big skillet with a lid and a saucepan for the polenta.

For 4 people you will need:

4 GOOD Italian HOT (spicy) Italian sausage links, sliced into pieces
1 bunch of fresh broccoli rabe, stems cut and trimmed
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup of Italian polenta
4 3/4 cups water
2 tbsp table salt
2 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese

Drizzle a nice bit of olive oil in the big skillet and throw in the sausage pieces, brown a few minutes and throw in the garlic cloves, careful that they don't get too brown.

When your sausage starts losing its pink color, throw in the broccoli rabe. It should still have water clinging to it from washing it. This is a good thing.

Place a lid on top of the skillet and cook about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and move the rabe around with tongs to turn over. Cover again and cook, doing this on and off lid thing for about 10 minutes total, on medium heat.

The sausage will be fully cooked and the broccoli rabe will be tender and wilted. Season with sea salt or kosher salt.

You can start your polenta while the rabe and sausage are cooking.

Boil the water in a heavy lidded saucepan and add the 2 tbsp of salt.
Once you reach a boil, slowly add the polenta and keep stirring until it is bubbling and spitting and you get a nice thick consistency. Turn down the heat if it is splattering too much. This should not take more than a few minutes.

Once you reach the desired thickness, add in the Pecorino and stir to combine.
Spoon polenta into big bowls and top with the sausage and broccoli rabe.


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Oui, Chef said...

This is among my favorite classic Italian flavor combinations, broccoli rabe and sausage are a perfect together on polenta, pasta OR pizza!

Claudia said...

I make this combination regularly with pasta instead of polenta. Never thought to interchange the two. Sometimes I am oblivious. And I don't need a cold night to make this.

Anonymous said...

A holy trinity. Saint Andy Boy. I have an imaginary fennel seed stuck between my back left molars as I type this. Delicious, oh yeah!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Yes, one of my favorite dishes too. I'm in my favorite place in the world right now and have eaten polenta and sausages at least three times this week - can't get enough of this dish.

Joanne said...

I love that we use the same brand of broccoli rabe :) this is one of my favorite flavor combos!

Ernesto said...

I agree about buying "good" sausage Stacey. My grandfather was a butcher and he said:


He said they put the weirdest things and scraps into sausage, so beware and only buy the best. He is long gone, but I still only buy from my local Italian butcher.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I love broccoli rabe and sausage but make mine with pasta. I'm definitely making it with polenta the next time. Thank you for the great idea.

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

Nice suggestion, sounds like a delicious combination. I need to try it your way.

kb071 said...

Thank you for such an awesome recipe. I make this probably twice a month now at my boyfriend's demand. I usually also give a nice generous drizzle of truffle oil at the end. YUM.