Sweet Sausage and Broccoli Rabe with Cranberry Beans
In autumn, markets in Italy begin to fill with such staple winter vegetables as broccoli rabe. This pungent, bitter flower is not broccoli at all but comes from a variety of turnip. When fresh cranberry beans are available we prefer them to the dried version—omitting the step of overnight soaking.
Credit: Maura McEvoySERVES 6
INGREDIENTS2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¾ lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 sprigs fresh oregano
2 cups dried cranberry beans or white beans, soaked overnight
1 lb. broccoli rabe, trimmed, stems peeled, cut into 2'' lengths
Salt and freshly groundblack pepper
INSTRUCTIONS1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sausage, and cook, browning on all sides, for about 15 minutes. Remove sausage from pan, cut into large pieces, and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onions, and cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and parsley and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook for 2 minutes more.
3. Return sausage to skillet. Add beans and enough water to cover, about 3 cups. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until beans are just tender, about 40 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and reduce liquid by half, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli rabe, mix well, cover, and cook until rabe is tender, 5–7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a large bowl and serve.