Updated 11/04/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Rotini Pasta with Hot Italian Sausage and Rapini
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One pound rotini pasta
4 links hot Italian sausage, sliced into 1-inch chunks
2 Tbs olive oil for sauteing sausage
1 medium large onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
4-6 cups rough chopped rapini (see hints below)
0ne 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Get a large pot of water going for eventually cooking the rotini and then add a splash of olive oil to another large, heavy bottomed pan and add 4 sliced links of hot Italian sausage.
While you're browning up the sausage, take a minute to thinly chop one medium large onion and also very thinly slice 4 large cloves of garlic.
Once the sausage has browned all around take it out of the pan and put it on a clean plate, add the sliced onion to the pan and cook that to soften.
While you're keeping your eye on the onion, remove the larger, tougher stems from the rapini and then rough chop the leaves, you're looking for 4 - 6 cups total.
Once the onions have softened up, add the garlic and cook that along for a minute, then add the chopped rapini, one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes and about 2 cups of chicken stock and bring it up to a simmer.
Once the pasta water comes to a boil, add the one pound box of rotini and cook that until it is "al dente" and then drain it through a colander in the sink, but don't run any cold water over it.
At that point, add the sausage back to the pot with the rapini and cook that along for a few minutes.
To serve, divide the hot pasta into deep bowls, ladle the sausage, rapini and broth over the top and finish with grated parmesan cheese.
Since rapini can be a little bitter, feel free to use fresh spinach instead of rapini if you like.