Spaghetti with Sausage and Broccoli

Il Fornaio Restaurant Recipe

1 (8 oz.) package spaghetti pasta
5 quarts water
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 bunch broccoli rabe
8 ounces mild Italian sausage, cut into medium cubes
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 tablespoons onion, chopped
2 pinches salt
2 pinches pepper
4 ounces white wine
28 ounces San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
6 basil leaves, hand torn into pieces
1/2 cup Pecorino cheese

Make the pasta water:  In a large pot, bring water to a boil with the sea salt. Wash the broccoli rabe, trim the leaves and cut the stems into 4 inch long pieces. Chop the remaining stems and leave florets whole. Drop the 4 inch stems into boiling water. Boil 20 to 30 minutes.

Make the sauce:  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil a saute pan. Add the sausage cubes and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat without stirring, until brown. Then stir to move the sausage. Add the garlic, red pepper and onions. Cook slowly for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, then add the wine and reduce until the wine evaporates. Add the crushed tomatoes and torn basil leaves. Bring the sauce to a slow boil for 20 to 25 minutes.

Make the pasta:  After 30 minutes, remove the broccoli stems from the water and add the spaghetti. Boil for 7 minutes. Add the chopped broccoli steams and cook for 1 minute, then add the whole florets. Cook just 1 minute more, then strain the pasta with the broccoli. Reserve a little of the liquid. Add the pasta to the tomato sauce pan, with 1/4 cup of pecorino cheese and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute all together. If the sauce is too thick, add a little of the reserved pasta water.

To serve:  Serve family style on a large platter, or in 4 separate pasta bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

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