Giuseppe's Dishes: Rapini Aglio e Olio

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It's no secret that my dad was an amazing cook. I have known good food from a very young age, coming home to beautiful bowls of pasta, homemade meatballs and other olive oil-filled dishes. My brothers and I were those kids that went to school with gourmet homemade lunches. When all the other kids in our class were eating bologna sandwiches, we were eating fresh made lasagna. I wouldn't trade that for anything - even though the meals weren't always the healthiest, we ate REAL food. It was always made from scratch and never from a box or microwavable package.

A big part of my grieving process has been to spend more time in the kitchen, making meals and treats I enjoy but also trying to harness all the wonderful recipes my dad unintentionally passed along to me. I swear that sometimes I feel as if he is right there beside me guiding me through the process and sometimes you'll hear me yelling "DAD, SHOW ME A SIGN IF THIS NEEDS MORE SALT" ... you'd be surprised how often I tip over the salt jar or have another coincidental encounter ...

I want to do my very best to honour my father and all the wonderful meals he made for us with SO much love. I want to attempt to recreate some of these amazing dishes in hopes to pass along his legacy in kitchen as much as in the coaching field. My dad saw cooking as a vehicle to connect with others and show his love. I want to do the same, but perhaps with a healthier spin.

Here is one of my first creations that I truly felt he was present for. It turned out so well that after I ate I literally said "how the hell did I just do that?" ... I know Pops, you were there and you were right, it did need more salt ...

Rapini Aglio e Olio

Ingredients

  • 1 Bag of Spelt Flour Pasta

  • 5-6 Turkey Sausages (Marc Angelo Mild Italian Turkey Sausage is the one I used!)

  • 2-3 Tbsp of Olive Oil

  • 1 Head of Rapini

  • 2 Cloves of Garlic

  • 8-12 Medium Mushrooms

  • 1/4 Cup of Vegetable Broth

  • 1/2 Cup of Sundried Tomatoes

  • Red Chilli Flakes

  • Sea Salt + Pepper

  • A LOT of LOVEā™„

Directions

  • Over medium-heat in a large pan, heat olive oil and minced garlic

  • Add turkey sausage and cook on each side for ~4 minutes, or until about 90% cooked

  • Remove sausage from pan and cut into 1-inch pieces and keep to the side

  • Add mushrooms and rapini to pan with 1/4 cup of vegetable broth and sea salt

  • Let vegetables cook

  • Add sausage back into pan with rapini and mushrooms

  • In a separate pot, bring water to a boil with a pinch of salt

  • When water is boiling, add spelt pasta and watch carefully until al dente (a little firmer)

  • Add cooked pasta to sausage + rapini + mushroom mixture

  • Combine all together

  • Remove from heat and put into a fancy Italian pasta bowl

  • Drizzle with fresh olive oil, sea salt, pepper and red chilli flakes

  • EAT ALL OF IT AND ENJOY!

Notes

  • You can use whatever pasta variation you'd like - my favourites are spelt flour linguini, spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, Nupasta, chickpea pasta, etc.

  • This recipe serves 3-4, so you can cut down on the sausage and pasta if you're only serving 1-2 (or have leftovers)

  • Enjoy this meal sitting at a table, surrounded by people you love

  • The last ingredient is most important

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! If you end up making this Giuseppe creation, make sure to hashtag #LIVELIKEJOE so we can pass his legacy on to multiple kitchens :)