One of our big goals in last month’s grill-centric Test Kitchen was inventing easy new ways to trick out hot dogs. We discovered our ability to pair a sausage with the toppings that best suit it. First up: the Italian dog. One of our favorite side dishes with any Italian classic, like gooey homemade eggplant parmesan or the labor of love that is lasagna, is bitter, toothsome broccoli rabe sauteed very simply with garlic, olive oil and just a pinch of red chili flakes. It happens to make an excellent topping for an Italian sausage in a crisp, toasted bun with melted provolone.

Make a batch of these updated hot dogs at your next barbecue and watch nobody mention with disdain how much they were looking forward to a plain old weenie with a neat line of yellow mustard. Not that those aren’t tasty, too.

More Italian Test Kitchen recipes at Food Republic: