Our Household Staple: Rapini & Sausage

My husband’s favorite meal is sausage and rapini, also known as broccoli rabe. Rapini is not in the  broccoli family, it is a type of mustard green that is genetically closest to turnips, which is crazy! The rapini flower is like the best broccoli floret you have ever eaten. This meal is an absolute staple in my house.

I make rapini so often, I have stopped thinking while I cook it. It’s just second nature. This is a very simple and quick dish to make!

Gabbie’s Rapini & Sausage

serves 4 people

  • 4 Italian Sausage links, we get two medium and two spicy from Whole Foods
  • 3 bunches of rapini, I think Andy Boy brand is the best
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt and pepper (chili flakes if you like a kick!)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grab your largest oven-safe skillet with a lid, I use a deep French skillet but my dad sometimes uses a stockpot (and just bakes the sausage in the oven but never returns it to the pot).

Step 1: Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to your skillet and place the sausage in the pan, bake the sausage for 15 minutes. Carefully pull the skillet out of the oven and set the sausage aside, I usually set them on the griddle on my stovetop on medium so they stay sizzling hot.

Step 2: Set the skillet on a burner, be careful of the hot handle and set to medium. At this time you can add an extra tablespoon or two of olive oil. Chop 2-3 inches of stem off, getting rid of the tough and fibrous stalk of the rapini.

Step 3: Add the rapini to the pan, it will crackle! Do a quick turn and coat all the leaves in olive oil, add the salt, pepper, and optional chili flakes. Smash the garlic cloves and add to the pan, do another quick turn and make sure everything is getting a light sauté.

Step 4: Once everything is coated and starting to wilt, add a splash of water to the skillet and quickly cover with a lid. Leave the lid on for 4-5 minutes This will lightly steam the rapini.

Step 5: Uncover the rapini, make a little hole in the center of the pan. Add the sausage back to the pan and let the water cook off. When the water has evaporated and the rapini is limp, it’s time to plate up and enjoy!

If you want your dish to be a bit meatier you can render down pancetta before you add sausage to the pan and you can let it all get crispy in the oven together, I would remove the pancetta before adding the rapini, adding it back with the sausage at the end so that it stays nice and crispy!

You can also omit meat from this dish, I think it would be wonderful with a poached egg and a super lemony Hollandaise poured on top.