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Sausage, Mozzarella, and Broccoli Rabe with Shells

You can substitute a mild sausage, such as sweet Italian, for the spicy variety. If you can't find broccoli rabe, use regular broccoli and increase boiling time to 1 minute.

  • prep: 35 mins
    total time: 50 mins
  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 links spicy Italian sausage (3/4 pound total), casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 8 ounces medium shell pasta
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound), trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, 15 minutes (reduce heat if browning too quickly).

  2. Step 2

    Add garlic and sausage. Cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, breaking them up with spoon. Cook sauce until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme.

  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 4 minutes less than package instructions. Add broccoli rabe to pot and cook 15 seconds. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe and return to pot. Stir in sausage mixture. Transfer to a 3-quart baking dish or divide among four 16-ounce gratin dishes. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until cheese has melted and liquid is bubbling, about 15 minutes.

Source
Everyday Food, November 2009

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Reviews (4)

  • luvMS 13 Jun, 2012

    I love this recipe, it's real comfort food and have made it many times. The Broccoli Rabi lends a slightly bitter flavor which adds so much depth to this dish. One of my faves.

  • marciginger 30 Nov, 2010

    I made this last night

  • yasha 21 May, 2010

    I didn't care for this recipe, would not make it again,something had a funny taste

  • Madhi 19 Apr, 2010

    I made it with Italian sausages made with chicken. Great recipe!