Whole-wheat spaghetti with broccoli rabe, sausage, and tomatoes

April 14, 2010

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Serves 4

1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed, stems and leaves cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 links (12 ounces) Italian-style turkey sausage, removed from the casing
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, crushed in a bowl
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)

1. In a large pot, bring about 3 inches of water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until it is almost tender (it will cook more later). Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.

2. Fill the pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil.

3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cook the sausage for about 7 minutes, chopping it into small chunks with the edge of a spoon, or until browned. Add the garlic and red pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Drop the spaghetti into the boiling water. Cook for 6 minutes or until it is tender but still has some bite. With a heatproof glass measuring cup, remove 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta in a colander.

5. Add the broccoli rabe to the tomato sauce with 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to thin the sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

6. Spoon some of the sauce into 4 shallow pasta bowls. Divide the spaghetti among the bowls. Ladle the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Adapted from 606 Congress