I made this recipe a while back and really enjoyed it. I often make quick pasta sauces from canned pasta sauce, sausage, and whatever veggies I have on hand - it's one of my favorite fast dinners when I don't have a lot of time. This recipe is basically from-scratch version of that same idea, and it only takes a few minutes longer...definitely a winner! The added vegetable here is broccoli raab, which I don't think I would have thought of for a tomato-based pasta sauce, but it actually works really well. The broccoli raab contributed a slightly bitter flavor and toothsome texture - even my broccoli-hating boyfriend thought it was tasty. The broccoli raab pairs well with turkey sausage, although any sort of Italian-seasoned sausage that you like would work well. One note - although I definitely had leftovers and enjoyed them, I thought the sauce was best the same night I made it, so you might want to save this one for an evening when you're serving a crowd (or make a half recipe). This is one I wouldn't freeze as I think the texture would suffer.
Sausage Ragù with Broccoli Rabe (adapted from Gastronomer's Guide, original recipe here)
1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound), thick stems removed
3 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
1 T tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 pound pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
1. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch broccoli rabe until bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cooled. Pat dry and coarsely chop.
2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sausage, crumbling with wooden spoon, and brown until no longer pink, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste to coat all ingredients.
3. Pour in the wine to deglaze and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add rosemary, bay leaf, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook until tomato sauce has darkened and thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4. While the sauce cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt, and cook the pasta according to package directions.
5. Add the broccoli rabe to the sauce and rewarm. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce; stir to coat. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.