Category: Pasta with Sausage
Difficulty: Easy but labor intensive
This preparation is inspired by the way they cook friarelli (broccoli rabe) in Naples. There they boil the greens and then sauté them with lots of garlic and olive oil. Then it can go on a pizza with sliced cooked sausages and mozzarella, known as pizza pulcinello. Anyway, I went to the farmer’s market looking for friarelli but didn’t find it until the end when I had already bought spinach and black kale. So I thought what the heck, let me make all of this with the sausages and pork and put it on the perciatelli as I was having seven people for dinner that night anyway. So I served it with an heirloom tomato salad.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
Preparation Time: 1:45 hours in all
1 1/2 pounds boneless country-style pork ribs (about 4)
1 1/2 pounds mild Italian sausage
2 1/2 pound broccoli rabe, bottom part of stems removed and set aside
3/4 pound black kale
2 pounds spinach, trimmed of heavy stems, washed well
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
10 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound perciatelli (bucatini)
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 325º F.
2. Place the country-style pork ribs on a rack in a baking dish filled with a little water and bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Cut each in half.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, then reduce the heat a bit and poach the sausages until firm, about 15 minutes. Remove, cool, and slice on the bias.
4. Return the water to a boil and plunge the broccoli rabe and black kale in until wilted, uncovered, about 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and drain. Cook the spinach until wilted, 2 minutes. Remove and drain. Add the broccoli rabe stems and cook 8 minutes, then remove and drain. Let the greens sit in a colander to drain more, then cut them up into smaller sections.
5. In a large flame-proof casserole, preferably earthenware, heat 1 cup olive oil over medium-high heat with the garlic until the garlic is sizzling, then reduce the heat to medium and add the greens, after having squeezed out whatever water remained in them, and stir and cook the greens until soft, stirring, about 10 minutes.
6. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat, then cook the sliced sausages and pork until crispy, about 5 minutes, stirring.
7. Meanwhile, for every pound of pasta, bring 6 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat, salt abundantly with up to 1/2 cup of salt, then add the pasta in handfuls. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick together, until al dente. Drain without rinsing.
Transfer the pasta to a large serving platter, spread the greens over the pasta and then the meat on top of the greens and serve with the grated cheese.