Ever since the gorilla gourmet viewing party, I've been experiencing regular persisten cravings for the rapini and beans, spoonfuls of which I pilfered over and over from JoanB's heaping plate over the course of that evening. (Actual pilfering may not have occurred). I tried to reproduce the experience of the dish (if not the exact ingredients) last night at home: rapini was on sale at the Elmwood Park Caputo's, as were cans of cannelini beans. What I made tasted good, but was a beast of a different color from what I ate that night, that fateful night. I braised the beans and the greens with a ton of sauteed garlic and some sausage in chicken stock and lemon juice. But the gravy was anemic: i added some corn starch slurry and that got the texture closer, but that doesn't seem like a likely thickening method for italian american recipes, right? Or am I off base?
Has anyone else tried to retro-engineer this at home? Any tips to offer? What kind of thickening would a nonna or bis-nonna add to her stock to get that luscious texture? Or it that merely the product of long cooking, and starchy bean water? Did I doom myself from the start with my last minute canned beans? Are there other places in city limits that serve a comparable dish of greens and beans from which I can extend my hypothetical ingredients?