Salsicce con le cime di rapa

Sausages with Rapini

I love this sausages recipe, with its unusual and assertive flavors. My grandma was from the Apulia region, and she introduced me really early to the unique taste of rapini. I find that their strong, almost bitter taste wonderfully balances the buttery, rich sausages to create a hearty, irresistible mix.

The dish takes about 40 minutes to make, and it’s a variation of the Sautéed Rapini recipe that you can find in my recipe App. The vegetables are cooked the Italian way: very well done.

It is very easy to prepare: the only challenge will be finding good sausages.

Having grown up in the North of Italy, where pork is fairly worshipped, I have my credos when it comes to sausages!

For example, one of my principle states that sausages shall be made of pork, and only pork: a chicken or turkey sausage to me is not a sausage.

Another credos is that sausages cannot be made with sweet ingredients — no apple, honey, smoke flavors…

In the northern and central Italy, we only use a very simple sausage, made with ground pork of the best quality and  balanced fat content, a hint of white wine, salt and pepper, and occasionally a hint of garlic. Simple sausages like this are a very hard find here. Probably the closest variety is bratwurst. A simple sausage will, in my opinion, perfectly enhance the taste of rapini.The so-called Italian sausages (made with fennel) are local specialties from the south of Italy — I tasted them for the very first time in the US!

But idiosyncrasies aside, any sausage you like will work (Phew!!!).

Total time: 40 minutes
Serves 4Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Sausages (I prefer bratwurst)
  • ½ Onion (preferably white, approx. 6-8 oz.)
  • 3 lb. Rapini (about 2 lb. when trimmed)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • To taste, Hot chili pepper flakes (totally optional)



  • 14-inch skillet, with lid
  • Metal splatter screen
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Wooden spoon
Sausages with Rapini Ingrendients
Trim and discard the hard ends of the rapini. Rinse and set aside.Finely slice the onion and set aside. Tagliare il gambo alle cime di rapa
Heat 2 Tbsp. of Extra-virgin olive oil in the skillet, and brown the sausages over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, turning them to brown evenly on all sides. Use a metal splatter screen to protect yourself. Remove the sausages and set aside on a plate. brown sausage
Add the rest of the oil to the skillet and toss in the previously sliced onions. Sauté for 2-4 minutes at medium-high heat until pale yellow. onions in pan
Add the previously cleaned rapini to the pan and season. add rapini
Pour 2/3 cup of dry white wine (and the chili flakes if using). Close the lid tightly. Cook at medium-high heat for about 6-8 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until they have wilted. add wine to rapini
Add the sausages and continue cooking, covered, for another 25 minutes, or until the sausages are done. Turn the sausages just once, halfway through. Check the pan toward the end of the cooking time: if there is too much liquid, uncover and let evaporate for a few minutes (or add a couple of Tbsp. of water in the unlikely event it is too dry). sausage in pan with rapini
Serve hot. Buon appetito! sausages with rapini done

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