Broccoli rabe, an Italian favorite, is a bit bitter, but if you blanch it the flavor will mellow. 

¾ lb. penne
1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped*
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casings
½ cup chicken broth
olive oil
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

* ingredients that can be prepped several days in advance.

Boil salted water for pasta, when boiling add pasta and follow directions on the box.

Boil salted water and add chopped broccoli rabe for about 1-2 minutes, or until it turns bright green. Immediately remove it from the water, drain it in a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Or, if you are really ambitious, dump it in a bowl of ice water and then drain. Set aside. (Now you’ve learned how to blanch!) This step can be done before you start the pasta so that you can use the small pot twice.

Heat a saute pan and add sausage, cooking between 5-7 minutes, or until it is no longer pink and is starting to brown. Add garlic, and a bit of olive oil to the pan, sautéing until the garlic starts to smell delicious. Add broccoli rabe and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sausage and garlic and saute a couple more minutes until it is covered in all of the nice juices and heats through. Pour in chicken broth and let the mixture simmer a bit until the pasta is finished.

Before you drain the pasta, reserve about a ½ cup of the pasta’s cooking water, and set aside. Drain the pasta, add it to the broccoli rabe/sausage mixture and toss. If it is too dry for your taste add the reserved pasta water – just a little bit at a time! Toss, add salt and pepper and taste. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over it and serve!