We have been super busy around here lately. We recently got back from our trip to Korea and are now gearing up to move next month. Getting our new house ready means lots of late nights DIY-ing some projects we’ve got going on. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is cook. But we have to eat, so I try to make simple yet satisfying dishes.
This pasta dish fits the bill perfectly: easy, fast, and a complete meal (carb, veggie, protein). The broccoli rabe (aka rapini) adds a touch of bitterness to the spicy sausage and the plain pasta and the garlic and red pepper gives it a kick. Not having a heavy sauce allows each of the flavors to really stand out and helps to not weigh down the hearty dish any more than it is.
You can easily make some tweaks to the recipe if you’re not into pork sausage by substituting turkey Italian sausage. You could also omit the meat altogether for a vegetarian dish, but I would then bump up the olive oil to help create a sauce. I hope you give this dish a try– it’s already become a favorite around here!
1 pound pasta (I used bowties)
1 bunch (pound) broccoli rabe
1 pound Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or skip if using hot sausage
Grated Parmesan, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash and chop the broccoli rabe as your water comes up to a boil, removing any thick stems and chopping the leaves and remaining stems into 1- to 2-inch sections. Add pasta and five minutes before its cooking time is up, add the broccoli rabe.
Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a large skillet. When it is about halfway cooked through, add the olive oil (one tablespoon at a time) if it’s looking a little dry and heat the garlic, pepper flakes and a half-teaspoon of salt over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the garlic becomes lightly golden and the sausage is cooked through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if you need to.
Reserve one cup of the pasta water and then drain the broccoli rabe and pasta together and pour into serving bowl (or back into the pot you boiled it in). Pour sausage mixture over pasta and toss everything together. If it needs some loosening up, add the pasta water a little bit at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Top with freshly grated cheese before serving.