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Gnocci with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

I like this dish because its fast, and I can make the Sausage and Rabe and serve it to my “no carb” husband, then mix the just cooked gnocci into the sauté pan with a little of the pasta water for myself.

2 lbs sweet Italian Sausage
1 large bunch Broccoli Rabe, rinsed, ends trimmed, and chopped into ½ inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes (the amount is really up to you.)
1 lbs prepared gnocci (in the cryovac package)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan Cheese, optional

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the chopped Broccoli Rabe and boil for about 10 minutes.  Strain and set aside.  If you  have a pot with a strainer insert, you can use the water again to boil the pasta.  If not, once you have strained out the Rabe, fill the pot again with water and salt and bring it back to the boil for the pasta.
  • In a large sauté pan with a cover, sauté the sausage until just browned on two or three sides.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  It’s not necessary to cook all the way through as the sausage will finish cooking when added back to the pan.
  • Add the olive oil to the pan and immediately add the garlic and the hot pepper flakes.  As the garlic starts to sizzle, add the cooked Broccoli Rabe and toss to insure it becomes coated with the now spicy olive oil, while preventing the garlic from burning.
  • In the meantime, slice the sausage, and add the pasta to the boiling water, for about 6-8 minutes.  Gnocci is done when it starts to float in the water.  Strain, but retain some of the pasta water to finish the dish.
  • When the Broccoli Rabe has begun to steam, add the sausage back into the pan and cover to allow it and the Rabe to finish cooking.  Once the sausage has lost its pink, I turn the pan off and keep it covered.  Allowing the Rabe to cook for any further length of time will render quite an ammonia-like aroma.  Not good.
  • When the pasta is finished cooking, add it to the sauté pan, along with a little of the pasta water and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to permeate the gnocci.  Taste for seasoning and adjust the salt and pepper.
  • Serve with a little parmasean cheese.

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