It's the first day of a truly Arctic blast of cold, windy weather here in DC and apparently for the majority of the country as well. While this unfortunately does mean that winter is officially upon us, I wanted to share a really quick dish from a few weeks ago that I threw together as a way of giving summery flavors a last hurrah.
This dish is most commonly done with broccoli rabe in traditional Italian preparations but we decided to use a big bunch of mustard greens from the farmer's market. We've been fans of its spicy horseradish flavor since having it at the sadly closed Burma restaurant but any leafy green will do for this, like kale or chard.
1. Wash, dry, de-stem and julienne your greens.
2. Crank open a can of cannellini, or white, beans and rinse them out. These are an optional extra but I like that it bulks up the dish, adds protein and adds a nice butter texture.
3. Crank up the heat on your skillet or cast iron pan to medium high, add a few good glugs of EVOO and beginning breaking up the sausage in the pan with a wooden spoon. Add that garlic, salt and pepper and the crushed red pepper flakes. The idea is to get as much caramelized brown bits on the meat as possible. You'll know when it's done when the meat is no longer pink. (Protip: Graham likes to break up meat in the pan with a potato masher. Sounds weird but it breaks up really quickly this way and browns more evenly.)
4. As the sausage is browning, boil your pasta according to the box instructions (I always do one minute less than they say because I like my noodles really al dente but to each their own.) Make sure you're seasoning your water really well with salt.
5. If you've timed this properly, both the sausage and the pasta should be done around the same time. After you've strained out the noodles and returned to their pot, very quickly add the mustard greens and beans into the sausage pan and stir vigorously, just to get the leaves wilted down. Add the sausage and greens mixture in with the pasta, add your grated cheese and toss to combine. Top with fresh parsley, even more cheese and you're good to go!
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