Ziti with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
. Difficulty: Easy
. Serves: 6 people
. Preparation time: 30 minutes
. Variety: Pasta
Ingredients½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pot
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage links
3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 large head broccoli rabe, trimmed, stems peeled (see page 9)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound ziti
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup freshly grated Grana Padano
PreparationBring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausages and brown all over, about 6 minutes. Remove to a plate. (They don’t have to be fully cooked at this point; they will cook more in the sauce.)
Add to the skillet the remaining olive oil and the garlic cloves. Cook until the garlic is light golden, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, and season with the salt and red pepper flakes. Toss to coat the broccoli rabe in the oil, cover and let it steam until it is bright green and the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the sausages into ½-inch rounds, and add the ziti to the boiling water.
Uncover the broccoli rabe and the sliced sausages, 1 cup pasta water, and the butter. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the broccoli rabe is very tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove garlic.
When the ziti is al dente, remove with a spider and transfer directly to the sauce. Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce, adding a little pasta water if it seems dry. Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with the grated cheese, toss, and serve.