Clean and wash the broccoli rabe. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon salt and put the broccoli rabe in to cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Strain the broccoli rabe and submerge in cold
MICHAEL'S PLACE SHOW #ML1B16
water to cool quickly. Drain the rabe. Place the sausage links in a skillet and begin to brown slowly, over low heat, partially covered with a lid. They should cook in about 20 minutes. Put 6 quarts of water in a pot to cook the pasta. Bring the water to a boil and add 2 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. When the pasta is nearly cooked add the rabe to the sausage along with the red pepper flakes. Toss the rabe and sausage together and cover the pan again. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and put the pasta back into the pot along with the olive oil Set it over low heat and cook for a moment before pouring the pasta into a serving bowl. Top with the sausage and rabe and plenty of grated cheese and ground black pepper. The reserved water may be used to moisten the dish if necessary.
Trim the meat of all gristle but remember to not trim too much fat as the mixture should be approximately 80 percent lean to 20 percent fat. Cut the meat into chunks and pass through a meat grinder using the largest die. Pass the meat through again, this time using the medium die. Pass the sausage meat through one more time on this medium die. In a large bowl mix the ground meat with the water, salt, pepper, fennel seed, cheese and parsley. Wash the casing well under cold running water and allow water to run through the casing so that any holes may be detected. Fit the grinder with the sausage stuffing attachment and place the casing over the stuffing tube by feeding it on and bunching it up on the tube.. Place the meat in the hopper on top and begin to push the sausage meat down into the hopper so that it begins to feed into the casing. As the meat feeds into the casing, allow the casing to slide into your open hand. Catch the stuffed sausage as it comes out of the machine. Go at a slow and steady pace so that the sausage is fully, evenly, stuffed and without air pockets. To make individual links, twist the sausage every few inches as it is stuffed and let the finished ring of sausage lay on the work space as you finish the process. Continue until the meat is finished. Keep refrigerated and use with in one week or freeze for later use.
Yield: approximately 5 pounds finished sausage
c. Michael Lomonaco 1997