Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Broccoli Rabe With Veal Sausage

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalWorcester Food Expert

Broccoli Rabe With Veal Sausage
Makes 8 servings

The classic combination of bitter greens and sweet sausage is as warming and comforting as the Italian grandmothers who have been making it for generations. In this recipe I am using veal sausages. Veal sausages are a flavorful alternative to pork sausages. Veal is often included in bratwurst, white boudin and bockwurst. It is usually the sole meat in weisswurst, or white sausage. Veal sausages also contain fat, seasonings and preservatives. Most have grain-based filler material in them as well, and sometimes the veal is blended with other meats, including pork, lamb, beef or poultry. While high in protein, veal sausage is also high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Eat it in moderation, and balance meals that include sausage with fresh fruit or vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

Ingredients

3 pounds broccoli rabe (about 3 medium bunches), trimmed

1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian veal sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 garlic cloves, chopped

Directions

Cut broccoli rabe into 3-inch-long pieces. Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water with 3 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water, uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Squeeze out excess water from handfuls of broccoli rabe.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler.

Broil sausage in a 4-sided sheet pan 3 to 4 inches from heat, turning occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Keep warm, covered. While sausage broils, heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Separate broccoli rabe, then sauté in garlic oil until coated with oil and heated through, about 4 minutes. Stir in sausage.

Chef’s note:

Broccoli rabe can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled. Broccoli rabe isn't actually related to broccoli. Instead, it's closely related to the turnip. ... This long, slender vegetable, which may also be referred to as broccoli raab and is similar to rapini, has thin stalks with deep-green leaves and small buds that resemble broccoli florets. The best way to approach it is just as you would with bitter leafy greens, like mustard greens or turnip greens. This long, slender vegetable, which may also be referred to as broccoli raab and is similar to rapini, has thin stalks with deep-green leaves and small buds that resemble broccoli florets. Broccoli rabe is sold fresh in grocery stores and farmers markets, and is at its peak in the cold months of winter. Although the flavor mellows somewhat as it cooks, broccoli rabe has a bitter taste that's also a bit earthy and nutty. It's particularly popular in Italian cuisine, and best when sautéed or blanched to soften the stalks and leaves.

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well." Check out the Chef's website and blog

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