Penne Rigate Sauteed with Rapini and Merguez Sausage

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 5 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 Servings
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3 cups rapini or broccoli rabe, ends removed, sliced into bite-size pieces

1 pound or 500 grams penne rigate pasta (ridged penne)

Sea salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Diavole fritte, crumbled, recipe follows

3 spicy merguez sausage, casings removed

1/3 cup pecorino-romano cheese, for garnish

Diavoli Fritte (Fried Devils)

1 cup canola oil

4 cloves young garlic, coarsely chopped

4 anchovy fillets, mashed with a fork

9 dried red finger chiles


  1. Blanch the rapini by cooking it in salted boiling water for 30 seconds. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the rapini into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Add the penne rigate to the boiling water you cooked the rapini in, and cook until al dente. 
  3. In a pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic and crumbled diavole fritte for 2 minutes, until the garlic is golden and fragrant. 
  4. Remove the merguez sausage from its casing and break it up into small pieces. Add the sausage to the pan and saute for about 10 minutes, until crispy bits form. Throw in the cooked penne rigate and rapini, then mix for a few minutes until the pasta is coated in the spicy merguez oils and toasted garlic. 
  5. Serve the pasta topped with lots of freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese.

Diavoli Fritte (Fried Devils)

  1. To make the Diavoli Fritte (Fried Devils): In a small heavy pot, heat the canola oil until it starts smoking. In a large pan, evenly disperse the garlic and mashed anchovies. Place the dried chiles in the pan in a single layer. As soon as the oil begins to smoke, take it off the heat. Use a metal ladle to carefully pour the hot oil over the peppers until they puff up. Shake them around, be careful not to burn the chiles.