While in Naples my daughter's landlady, Michelina had us over for Easter lunch. On of my favorite dish that she made was what Michelina called soup. It was what we would call greens. In her version Michelina cooked down the broccoli rabe with a chunk of pork, pork tripe, salt pork, and a pork sausage made with lungs and other pork parts. In fact Michelina was a little surprised that we would eat the tripe and sausage. She won't eat it and just wrinkled her nose when I told her it was good.
I've made greens before with collard or mustard greens etc. but never thought to use broccoli rabe. I've only made broccoli rabe sauteed with olive oil and garlic.
In my version of course I couldn't find such a sausage so in it's place I found a smoked Italian sausage that worked well and gave the greens that smokey taste. Here is my version of this soup.
BROCCOLI RABE SOUP
2-3 bunches broccoli rabe
1/2lb chunk pork..I used Boston butt (pork shoulder)
4oz salt pork cut into chunks
2 links sausage- Italian, polish, etc
4 cloves garlic minced
2C chicken stock
Wash the broccoli rabe, cut off the ends of the stems set aside
In a large dutch oven heat about 2 tbsp olive oil and saute the garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant begin adding the broccoli rabe in bunches. Let the first bunch wilt a little before adding more. Continue adding the broccoli rabe in bunches until it is all added. Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover. Add the pork, salt pork and sausage..nestle them into the broccoli rabe.
Bring the broth to a simmer, cover and cook for at least 2-3 hours until the broccoli rabe is cooked down and the pork is cooked through and shreds easily. Taste and adjust seasonings.
To serve, plate the broccoli rabe in a large bowl along with the broth. Shred the pork, slice the sausage in large chunks. The pork, sausage and salt pork can be served in the same bowl with the broccoli rabe or in a separate plate as Michelina served it so people can add what they like to their soup.