Sweet Italian Sausage 1 link
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVO) 3/4 C
Onions, small dice 1/2 C
Garlic 1 lg. clove
Kosher or sea salt 1/4 t
Rapa Turnips 24 small (Such as Lunga Viola a Foglia Frastagi)
Turnip greens, stems removed 2 C
Scuplit, leaves only 1/2 C
Red pepper flakes 1/4 t
Italian flat leaf parsley, fine chop 1/4 C
Pine nuts 1/8 C
Stock, (chicken, or vegetable) 1/2 C
Plum tomatoes (canned, preferably
San Marzano) 2 C
Salt & Pepper to taste
Bread (crusty sourdough recommended) 6 slices, cut ½” thick
Parmigiano Reggiano (grated) 1 1/2 C
– 5 quart braising pot w/ lid
– Saute’ pan
Remove the casing of the sausage, and cut into 1” small cubes.
Soak turnip greens in cold water to remove any sand, but do not dry. The moisture clinging to the greens will create steam needed to braise.
Mash garlic by peeling and slicing clove into very thin slices. Gather slices in a mound with salt. Using the flat side of a large chef’s knife to mash by pressing down and towards you, until you create a smooth texture.
Chop the pine nuts, then mash with the side of a knife.
Take six turnips, cut on a bias, 1/8” thick. The 18 remaining turnips need only to be cleaned and steamed in the braise & reserved for garnish.
Grind tomatoes through a food mill to make “passata di pomodoro”
Braising the Sausage and Greens:
In the braising pot sauté the sausage in ¼ C EVO over a medium flame until lightly browned.
Add the diced onions, and continue cooking until they are meltingly tender, add the garlic until lightly golden.
Add the red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, chopped parsley, and pine nuts. Saute’ for a few additional minutes, stirring frequently to make sure none of the ingredients are caramelizing too fast.
Add turnip greens, sliced turnips and whole turnips. Add stock to enrich the braising liquid. Do not add more stock than needed for braising.
It is essential to maintain the proper amount of moisture for braising. Never allow ingredients to “swim” in the pot, rather maintain just enough liquid to create steam for the tenderizing and melding of ingredients.
Test the whole turnips and the turnip greens, to determine tenderness, Taste the braising liquid to make sure it is properly seasoned. When the turnip greens are tender, turn in the Scuplit greens and allow them to melt as well.
Heat ½ C EVO and add milled tomato, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Fry both sides of bread in ¼ C olive oil until golden brown.
Assemble by placing the “crostini” at the center of the plate, mound the braised greens on the “crostini”, and pool the tomato sauce evenly around the bread. Garnish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano over greens, finish with remaining EVO lightly drizzled over tomato sauce and whole turnips.
Recipe by Charlie Rascoll, Culinary Institute of America