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Rigatoni, Cheese, Sausage and Broccoli Raab Casserole

This recipe calls for Béchamel sauce. We have modified a recipe on one of Barbara Kafka’s books that contains far less fat, and tastes just as good as Béchamel made on the stove top. In fact, a well known chef in our hometown joined us for dinner at our home and did not know that the sauce was made in the microwave.   So you have a choice, make the sauce the standard stove top way, or click here or below for the microwave version.  We have made our sauce this way for the past 12 years or so, and never on the stove. It’s easy and pretty foolproof.

Ingredients

1 Lb. Broccoli Raab
1 1/2 Lb. Sausage – turkey or pork
1/2 Cup Cheese – goat
1/2 Cup Cheese – Parmesan
1/4  Cup Cheese – Gorgonzola
6 Whole Tomatoes – chopped+ 3 more if not using the béchamel sauce
1/2 Cup Olive oil – extra virgin
1 Cup Parsley
1 Lb. Pasta – Ziti (or rigatoni)
1 1/2 Cups  Béchamel sauce – Optional (Click for Recipe)

Preparation

Bring a 2 quart pot of water to a boil, then add the broccoli raab to it.  Salt and cook for 5 minutes, then drain.  As soon as the broccoli raab is cool, squeeze most of the water from it, and then chop it coarsely.  Set aside.

Bring eight quarts of water to a boil for the pasta.

While the raab is cooking sauté the sausage in about 4 tablespoons of  olive oil.  Cook until browned on all sides – about 6 minutes.  Add the broccoli raab to the pan and stir, then continue cooking over medium heat.  If necessary, add a small amount of water t keep the ingredients from burning. Once the sausages are cooked, remove from the pan and cut each sausage into 4-5 pieces.

By now,  the water for the pasta should be boiling.  Cook the ziti (or rigatoni) until very al dente, then drain and set aside.

Add the broccoli raab the sausage, the tomatoes, the parsley and all of the cheeses to a large mixing bowl.  Mix thoroughly.    Add the pasta to the bowl and mix again, then add the béchamel sauce, if using.  If not using the béchamel, add  1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and 3 additional chopped tomatoes.  Mix to assure that all ingredients are well amalgamated.

At this point the mixture should be the consistency of loose cottage cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste, stir and let sit for 15 minutes.  After this time, bake at 350 for 35 minutes, then turn the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

This casserole demands a Syrah. We favor our 2009 Syrah/Grenache blend. It will make this dish even better!

2009 Syrah

This  De Angelis Wine was bottled in mid-February of 2011. A limited release occurred in August 2011. We decided to release the wine to the general public when we launch our new web site – This one! This is a 13.9% alcohol wine, and again brings flavor, balance, and finish to a this varietal.Some of the complexity is due to the addition of a small amount (10.5%) of Grenache. This blend has been offered since being originally introduced into our Syrahs in 2007.  Pair this with any beef, lamb or veal dish, as well as with flavorful pasta dishes.

 

We are very proud of this wine, and even more proud that we bring it to you at such a reasonable price point.

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Price: $25.87


 

 


 

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