Cannellini & Rapini Pasta

When I saw rapini listed on the CSA delivery list, my heart skipped a beat. Is it odd that I get excited about trying new green leafy vegetables? (sound of chirping crickets…) Yeah, well who asked you?

I like contrasting the different degrees of bitter and peppery flavors in greens, but perhaps what I like most about green leafies is how they are a fantastic medium for garlic, red pepper and olive oil. I knew that was this rapini’s destiny, only mixed into pasta with lots of creamy cannellini beans, chunks of spicy Italian sausage, and juicy red tomatoes. Tying everything together was a light sauce made from butter, a handful of grated cheese, and a splash of chicken stock. The sauce was a soft, well-rounded, and nutty backdrop for all the strong flavors from the sausage and greens. Lastly, I dusted the pasta with some fresh green, woodsy flavors from rosemary and chives. Even if the idea of a new green leafy vegetable doesn’t excite you, this pasta will for sure.

  • 12 oz fresh fettuccine or linguine
  • 13 oz hot Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch rapini, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 14.5 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 small white onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 large cloves green garlic, minced (yields about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 large Roma tomato, seeded and diced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for sprinkling at table
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with about 3 teaspoons olive oil. Add the sausage links and add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium high heat, covered with a lid, until water boils. Remove lid and reduce heat to medium. When water evaporates, pierce sausages with a fork to release some of the fats. Flip the sausages and cook until browned on all sides– about 10 minutes total. Remove to a plate and set aside until ready to use.

Set a large pot of water to bring to a boil for the pasta. While waiting for water to boil, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium low heat until onion wilts. Add the cannellini beans, rosemary, and garlic and continue to cook until beans are heated through, about 5 more minutes. When water boils, salt it generously then add the pasta and the chopped rapini. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and add the pasta and rapini to the white bean mixture. Add tomatoes, then stir in butter, chicken stock, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Toss to coat and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add chives and plate, topping with more grated cheese if desired.

CSA Count: 3

Rapini, green garlic, chives

Garden Count: 2

Rosemary, oregano


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