Cavatelli con salsiccia e cime di rapa

Salsiccia and friarielli, the perfect Italian combo

A delicious combo: salsiccia and friarielli

Salsiccia and friarielli is a typical Italian second course. It is original from the Campania region, specifically from Naples. This dish is very easy to prepare and it has a unique flavour. Friarielli is a type of vegetable that looks a lot like turnip greens, it is a broad-leafed vegetable tender and bitter, that grows in the Naples area, it is difficult to find in other parts of Campania and Italy.


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The history of this dish

In the time of greatest poverty, Neapolitan women would go to the kitchens of the nobility, where the chefs would donate leftover food. It was a way of coping with hunger, but it was not always possible to find everything. With their ingenuity, the Neapolitans began to realise that in order to secure their daily food, they would have to ‘bet’ on humble and poor foods, such as turnip greens. So they began to pick the unopened floral clusters of turnips and cook them, adding lard to give flavour and make them extremely calorific. Today lard has been replaced by extra virgin olive oil. They were always accompanied by sausages, strictly pork.

Not just a second course

Everybody knows salsiccia and friarielli as a delicious second course, but they can also be used in other preparations. They are used as a seasoning for a lot of things as for example pizza, pasta, rustic babà and also used as filling for sandwiches, or rather, the ‘cuzzetiello‘ of bread. It is the perfect combo for a lot of dishes. Pizza with friarielli and sausage is a classic of southern Italy, especially in Campania, but friarielli are typical also in Calabria and more commonly known as turnip greens. The Neapolitans have been able to enhance the taste by transferring this classic Southern Italian dish onto a delicious Neapolitan pizza, the one with the puffy, fragrant edge. Today let’s discover a simple and quick dish to prepare with salsiccia and friarielli.


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Pasta with salsiccia and friarielli, the traditional recipe

  • 320 g pasta
  • 500 g friarielli
  • 2 sausage
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • oil
  • salt
  • chili pepper (optional)

Let’s start with the friarielli.

Wash them well under running water and pick off the tallest and most tender parts. Fry a clove of garlic in a frying pan together with a small piece of chili pepper. Pour the friarielli into the pan with the garlic and the chili, cover with a lid, and cook over a low flame. After a few minutes, season with salt and finish cooking. The friarielli should be juicy and soft.

Cut the sausage into pieces, removing the outer casing. Put it in a frying pan with a little extra virgin olive oil. Stir-fry for a few moments, then add the white wine and let it evaporate. Boil the water for the pasta. In the meantime, chop up the warm friarielli and add them to the sausage. Pour in the pasta and cook for the necessary time. When the pasta will be ready, transfer it to the pan with the seasoning and mix to amalgamate the flavours. Serve your pasta and enjoy it!


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Cover photo from Youtube