Baby, its cold outside!! Wow – winter is here!!! Time for a cozy Sunday night next to a blazing fire. And this calls for some hearty comfort food. One of my favorite winter warmers is a hearty dish of sweet sausage sauteed with lots of garlic, broccoli rabe and potatoes. Now I am a broccoli rabe fanatic so it doesn’t take much to get me to eat bunches of the stuff – but add in some sausage and potatoes and I am one happy puppy. This dish is (almost) a one-pot recipe which leaves you lots of time to sit by the fire. Add some crusty bread. Open a bottle of earthy red (Chianti perhaps?). Thrown on an extra log and enjoy!
Sweet Sausage and Broccoli Rabe with Potatoes
2 bunches of broccoli rabe, tough ends trimmed
5 medium to large Yukon gold potatoes, cut in half
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup of white wine
About 1 cup of water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sprinkle of hot pepper (optional)
1 large pot to par-boil broccoli rabe and potatoes
1 large saute pan
1. Prepare the broccoli rabe and potatoes: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium high heat. Add broccoli rabe and simmer for a few minutes (2-3 minutes) to remove bitterness. Put broccoli rabe in a colander to drain. I use the same pot to par-boil the potatoes. Bring water back to a boil and add potatoes. Simmer until just tender. Be sure to not overcook potatoes as they will continue to cook when added to dish. Drain and allow the potatoes to cool. Set aside.
2. Saute sausage: Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium high heat. Add the sausage and brown on all sides, until cooked through – about 15 minutes. Remove sausages. Set aside.
3. Turn heat to medium low. Add the minced garlic and saute until soft – about 3 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan (which means to just scrape up any browned bits on the bottom with the wine – your pan should be back to (almost) shiny when done and you will have all sorts of yummy flavor bits absorbed with the wine).
4. Dice the potatoes into bite sized pieces. Add to pan and saute until coated and tender.
5. Slice the sausage into pieces. Add the sausage to the pan. Stir to combine. Add the water and bring to a boil. Saute until water is reduced. I sometimes add more wine or water here depending on how dry the mixture might be.
6. Dice the broccoli rabe into 3 inch pieces. Add to pan. Mix well. Add salt, freshly ground pepper and hot pepper to taste.
7. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Serve with lots of crusty bread and plenty of freshly grated parmigiano!