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.
Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food
- 2 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
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.
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.
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.