Friday, April 24, 2009

Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe: A Psychic Phenomena

I thought I was a genius.

I thought I was doing something new.

I thought, when I paired turkey crumbles with rapini and piled them into a mound of al dente rotini WITHOUT USING A RECIPE, that I was the first person in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD to try that combination.

I was wrong.

Though the type of pasta and some of the ingredient quantities were slightly different, 20 seconds of research revealed that Giada DeLaurentiis has the exact recipe up on the Food Network site – the same cooking procedure, even. It’s called Orecchiette with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, and it has over 100 reviews, making it not quite unknown, either. Doy.

On one hand, this meant I could use her cooking directions as a guide to write my own. On the other hand, it meant I hadn’t discovered the recipe that would win me $12 billion on some kind of Grand Poobah Pasta Cooking Challenge. Giada had already done the dirty work, probably years ago. Dang.

But it wasn’t all bad, see. A few seconds after realizing the similarities, a great feeling of triumph washed over me: I had inadvertently duplicated a real-life professional recipe. One that’d actually been published. Online. In BOOKS, even. When you’re still learning the ropes, that’s a victory on par with golf’s U.S. Open, only waaaaay less boring.

In the end, I may not be a great chef, or a particularly creative one. But I AM, apparently, an accidental psychic, and that’s okay by me. Happy weekend, folks.

Pasta with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
Inadvertently adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis.
Serves 3

1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
9 ounces rotini, penne, or other small-ish pasta
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 links Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed (I used sweet. – Kris)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1) Bring a big pot of water to a boil. (While this is happening, fill a bowl with cold water and a few ice cubes.) Once the water pot starts boiling, add salt. Add broccoli rabe. Cook 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer rabe to the ice bath. (DON'T DRAIN THE POT.)

2) Once the cooking water is boiling again, add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain, saving about 1/2 cup cooking water.

3) In a big pan or skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage. Brown it, breaking it up with the back of your spoon. It should take 10 or 12 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4) Drain broccoli rabe. Add it to sausage. Stir. Add pasta. Stir again. If using, add cooking water now. Add parmesan. Stir until thoroughly combined. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
490 calories, 13.7 g fat, $1.04

1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed: 60 calories, 0 g fat, $0.99
9 ounces rotini, penne, or other small-ish pasta: 913 calories, 4.6 g fat, $0.37
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil: 149 calories, 16.9 g fat, $0.18
2 links Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed: 280 calories, 16 g fat, $0.99
3 garlic cloves, minced: 13 calories, 0 g fat, $0.15
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
2 to 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan: 54 calories, 3.6 g fat, $0.43
TOTAL: 1469 calories, 41.1 g fat, $3.13
PER SERVING (TOTAL/3): 490 calories, 13.7 g fat, $1.04

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Amanda on Maui said...

Way to go! I can only dream of reaching a point where I create something a professional chef might dream up.

Amy B said...

What a riot! This is what I aspire to: just "throwing stuff together" and having it taste exceptionally cook. Do it consistently and you'll get a chef's hat.

Luv2Tech said...

Awesome! Often times I get tired of the same ole, same ole. So I try to get creative and mix it up a bit with ingredients I don't usually pair together. If the DW likes it, I consider acceptable. If she says that she'd eat it again, then I know I've hit a home run. So to go many steps further and actually have it be a published recipe by someone whose cooking I like, I'd be dancing my happy dance for days!

Cheap Cell said...

Although you were not the first person to make it it still looks delish! and it doesn't cost much to make, I am going to try it.

I am glad I came across your site!

Anonymous said...

I "invented" fish tacos last night. They were delish with no recipe needed - so simple, such a great dinner for a "summer" night (since it was 90 degrees yesterday). They would be a great CHG recipe if you haven't done them already!

Paula said...

I do one very similar, except with white beans instead of pasta. It has onion, a parmesan cheese rind and italian sausage. I modified a recipe I found on the site which was good but REALLY needed the sausage! :) here's the link if you're interested in the details. Just add 3/4 to 1 lb of sausage to the recipe and...YUM!(

By the way, LOVED the braised cabbage recipe you have on the site. I've had so much cabbage from my farm box already that I've used it frequently. Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

I made this, and then posted that I had made it on the facebook, where all my friends immediately needed the recipe. It's obviously brilliant (and really really good. wow, it's good...)