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Dinner Tonight: Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Sausage and broccoli rabe seem like an odd pair, but they do really play well together. There's something about the slightly fatty and spicy kick of the Italian sausage interacting with the bitter greens. I've already done a fairly straightforward version, which I would happily make again. But I figured I'd branch out and see what else this inspired pair could do.

For help I turned to Martha Stewart. She rolls the sausage into little mini meatballs, adds a quick tomato sauce, then bakes everything until browned and bubbling. I don't make many baked pastas, but this one works. Even though there is melted cheese, it never feels heavy or greasy. But again, it's the interplay between the sausage that really makes this dish.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is the co-founder of The Paupered Chef and spends most of his time playing with the new cooking gadgets he got from his wedding.

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