Broccoli Sausage Pasta

Broccoli sausage pasta. Photo by Keri White

My friend described this recipe to me on a recent walk. It is her daughter’s favorite, and she was planning to make it that evening as a welcome-home meal for the returning coed.

Her version contained pork sausage and Parmesan, but that was easily rearranged. I used bulk turkey sausage — my friend said that permeates the flavor better than sliced links — and sprouted broccoli. If you can’t get your hands on bulk sausage, you can just cut the casings of links and remove the insides — or slice the links — the dish will still be good.

As for the broccoli: For a few weeks each year, my beloved Taproot Farm offers sprouted broccoli at the farmers market, but if you can’t get that, use broccoli rabe, broccolini or regular broccoli. It will still be really delicious!

Another great benefit of this dish is that it is done very quickly — so you have a weeknight meal in 30 minutes — and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen on these hot summer days.

Broccoli Sausage Pasta
Serves 4

I used fettuccine for this dish because that is what I had on hand, but my friend always makes this with orecchiette.

1 pound turkey sausage, either bulk or removed from casings
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste/preference)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup white wine, broth, or water
1 pound sprouted broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccolini or broccoli florets, in bite-sized pieces
1 pound pasta

In a large skillet, heat the oil with the salt and pepper flakes, and brown the sausage thoroughly. While the sausage browns, heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add the garlic to the sausage and sauté until fragrant. Add the wine/broth/water, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half.

Lower the heat, add the broccoli, stir, cover and cook until the broccoli is cooked through, about 3 minutes.

While the broccoli finishes, cook the pasta; drain it and reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the skillet and stir well. Add the pasta water if needed to loosen up the sauce.

Taste for seasoning, and finish with salt and pepper.


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