He's not what I would call a typically picky eater, but my husband has developed some unusual food aversions in recent years, the most inexplicable being a reluctance to eat pasta five nights out of six.
The virtues of pasta are many: cheap, filling and delicious. Its drawbacks remain a mystery to me. So yesterday, after my husband boarded a plane for a business trip, I rushed out to the market. I decided to fulfill every recent craving with one dish. Here's what I made:
1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
1/2 lb. Italian sweet sausage, casing removed
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 lb. linguine
1/2 cup bread crumbs, lightly browned
salt and pepper to taste
First, blanch the broccoli rabe (I always do this to eliminate bitterness). Then saute it for awhile with the garlic in olive oil over medium low heat. Meanwhile in another skillet, crumble the sausage and brown it over medium heat (to make the smaller bits crispy). In a toaster oven or a small, dry skillet, lightly brown the bread crumbs.
(If this seems like a lot of simultaneous activity, keep in mind that the broccoli rabe is pretty much taking care of itself on one burner, and the bread crumbs will brown in about two minutes. There is actually plenty of downtime during which to fill a pasta pot with water and set it to boil).
After the pasta is cooked and drained, toss it with the broccoli rabe and the sausage. Stir in bread crumbs. Serve immediately.