What Do They Eat? - Broccoli Rabé with Brown Rice Pasta & Sausage

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In this month's "What Do They Eat" I'd like to introduce Bobbi Lin.  She is not only an excellent cook, hostess, prop stylist, photographer and lip balm maker but she is also the co-founder of the newly launched Good Company magazine.  I love their mission statement, "your favorite people + the right tools + season ingredients = Good Company".  Check out and or buy the Winter - Issue One online. The Summer - Issue Two will be out this June. Keep an eye out!

Bobbi pours her heart and soul into all her projects and as you can imagine she's a busy woman so I thought she would be a great resource for a fast, yet flavorful and healthy dish.  I was so fortunate to get to spend a recent afternoon with this lovely lady, try her recipe, and ask her a few questions...

Q&A with Bobbi:

How important is eating "healthy" to you?
Healthy eating is very important to me because I have more energy, my head is clearer, and I feel like I'm mentally in a better place overall.

Why do you like cooking with broccoli rabé?
I first tasted broccoli rabé upon moving to NYC about 10 years ago. It was an epiphany.  This vegetable had a flavor like nothing I had tasted before, bitter and sweet at the same time.  I've been cooking with it ever since.

Why do you like cooking this recipe?
I have a few.  I like making this recipe in the early Spring when there are still those cold evenings that I want to tuck into something warm.  I've also been making healthy shifts in my cooking and I really feel like this recipe is well balanced.  It's light and hearty at the same time.  I love that it's a pasta dish that you can eat with a spoon or a fork and that is has more greens than meat but it still has rich layers of flavor.
Facts about Broccoli Rabé:
  • People often think this vegetable is related to broccoli but is actually cousin to the mustard green family.  
  • It has a bitter, nutty flavor.  It's bitterness is reduced when cooked. 
  • Broccoli rabé contains antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C and K, potassium, calcium and iron.
  • It has cancer preventing potential, helps build stronger bones and slows aging.
Bobbi Lin
Broccoli Rabé with Brown Rice Pasta and Sausage                                
makes 4 servings

This recipe was adapted from a recipe found in Real Simple magazine.
Bobbi made this recipe lighter by swapping the orecchiette to brown rice pasta then she cut the sausage + butter amounts in half and made the Parmesan optional as a finish.

1/2 pound brown rice pasta
1  Tbsp olive oil
1/2 pound (usually 2 links) Italian sausage (pork or turkey), casings removed
4   cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4  tsp  crushed red pepper
1/4 cup white wine
2  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper
1  bunch  broccoli rabé, cut into inch pieces
2  Tbsp butter
grated Parmesan (optional)

1.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return it to the pot then set aside.
2.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink, 4-5 minutes.
3.  Stir in the garlic and red pepper and cook 1 minute
4.  Add wine and let it cook out 5-6 minutes
5.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.
6.  Add the broccoli rabé, and simmer until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
7.  Stir in the butter, salt and pepper until the sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
8.  Toss the pasta into the sausage mixture and finish with a toss of fresh ground Parmesan to taste.

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