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:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, washed and roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 links hot or sweet Italian sausage
- 4 hot dog buns
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and saute until light golden brown.
- Add broccoli rabe and red pepper flakes and saute, tossing frequently, until just cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
- Preheat grill to medium-high and grill Italian sausages with the lid closed until fully cooked and slightly charred.
- Toast buns lightly on the grill and top each with two slices of provolone, folded to fit the bun. Do this off the grill, or the cheese will melt too quickly and start congealing.
- Add a sausage to each bun and top generously with the broccoli rabe. Serve immediately.