Pici with Sausage Ragu and Broccoli Rabe Puree


This recipe, a new twist on a Tuscan classic, is courtesy of chef Iacopo Falai of Falai restaurant.


  • cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 4 cups "00" flour

  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

  • Coarse salt

  • Semolina flour, for baking sheet

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

  • 1 ½ cups white wine

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, leaves and florets separated

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Shaved Pecorino Toscano cheese


  1. Wash parsley and finely chop; drain in a fine mesh sieve. Spread parsley in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and set aside until dry.

  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add "00" flour, all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt; mix to combine. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add 1 2/3 cups water. Continue mixing for 8 minutes; increase speed slightly, and mix 2 minutes more. Turn dough out onto work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces. Return to mixer and add parsley; mix on medium-low speed for 3 minutes. Remove dough from mixer and continue to knead, using your hands, until parsley is fully incorporated. Wrap with plastic wrap; let rest 30 minutes.

  3. If working on a non-wood surface, lightly dust work surface with flour. Unwrap dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. If working on a wood surface, moisten your fingers. Roll a piece into a log about 8 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Working from the center of the dough, roll one end of the dough until it is 1/8 inch in diameter. Cut that end of the dough into 8-inch-long pieces; repeat process with other end of dough. Transfer pasta to a baking sheet lined with semolina flour and cover with a damp towel. Repeat entire process with remaining pieces of dough; set aside until ready to use.

  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook for two minutes. Add broccoli rabe florets to boiling water with pasta and continue cooking until pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes more.

  5. Meanwhile, heat 6 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, whisking, until cooked through. Drain fat from skillet and add white wine; cook until evaporated. Add heavy cream and cook until almost completely reduced. Season with cinnamon, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt.

  6. Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli rabe leaves and cook, stirring, until wilted. Transfer leaves to the bowl of a small food processor and add remaining tablespoon olive oil; puree until smooth. Transfer pureed leaves to a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat; cook until warmed through.

  7. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe florets. Add to skillet with sausage mixture and toss to combine. Divide evenly between four serving plates and top with puree. Garnish with cheese and serve immediately.

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