28 Mar 2010 07:47 pm

Stuffed Pasta Frittata with Rapini, Mushrooms and Sausage

Stuffed Pasta Frittata with Broccoli Rabe, Mushrooms and SausageClick Here to read the writeup

1 bunch Rapini (a.k.a Broccoli Rabe)
¾ lb Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 medium onion, chopped or thinly julienned
½ lb mushrooms, coarsely chopped
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup water or chicken stock

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk at room temperature
1/3 cup freshly grated firm Italian cheese, such as parmesan or Romano

3 eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage or oregano
8 oz fettuccini or spaghetti, preferably whole wheat or spinach
Olive Oil

To Prepare the Filling:
Trim the bottoms of the rapini stalks. Starting at the bottom of each stalk, pinch the skin between your thumb and the edge of a paring knife and draw upward to pull away any tough portions. Coarsely chop remaining stalks and leaves together.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 tbl olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and using the edge of a spatula to break up the sausage into small chunks. Remove any excess fat, leaving at least 1 to 2 tablespoons in the pan. Add the onion an cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add the rapini and, using tongs, turn to evenly mix with the sausage, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rapini is wilted and the stalks are just beginning to soften, approximately 5 minutes (if the skillet won’t accommodate all of the rapini at once, add it in smaller batches, adding more as each batch wilts down).

Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook, stirring or turning with the tongs and scraping up any bits stuck to the pan until wine is nearly evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the water or stock, along with 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp freshly ground pepper and stir or turn the rapini to coat evenly. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until stalks are soft but al dente, 7 to 10 minutes (if all liquid evaporates before the rapini is fully cooked, add additional water or stock to moisten and continue cooking. If more than a tablespoon or two of liquid remains after cooking, remove cover and simmer until nearly evaporated.). Add additional salt and pepper if desired. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. (Can be prepared one to three days ahead).

In a small saucepan, heat the butter over low heat until it begins to bubble. Add the flour and stir until smooth with a wooden spoon or small whisk. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture takes on a slightly toasted aroma – 2 to 4 minutes. Pour in milk in a thin stream and stir vigorously until smooth. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring continually, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until smooth. Flavor with salt and pepper.

Add cheese sauce to rapini mixture and stir until smooth. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Prepare Frittata:
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente – do not  overcook (pasta will continue cooking in later steps. Drain and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature. Mix eggs, chopped herbs and a ½ tsp salt briefly with a fork in a medium sized bowl, then add pasta and toss to coat evenly.

In a medium-sized nonstick skillet heat 2 tsp olive oil over a medium-low flame until shimmery and fragrant. Add half of the egg and pasta mixture and spread in an even layer to the edges of the pan. Add 2/3 of the rapini mixture and spread in an even layer over the center of the pasta layer, leaving an inch or so of the edges uncovered by filling. Add additional filling if needed to create an even layer. Top with remaining egg and pasta mixture, spreading to edges of pan. Cover and cook over low to medium-low heat  until the lower layer is set – 6 to 8 minutes (when ready, frittata will move as a single, solid unit instead of jiggling when the skillet is shaken gently).

If skillet is oven-safe, place under broiler until top of frittata is cooked – 1 to 2 minutes. Otherwise, place a plate over the top of the skillet and invert in a single, swift motion. Lift off skillet and place on stove, and very carefully replace frittata into skillet, uncooked side down, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from skillet onto cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

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