Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta

One of my favorite pasta dishes takes an underrated vegetable, broccoli rabe, and makes it the star of the dish. I present, broccoli rabe and sausage pasta. This recipe is based off of one of my favorites from A Beautiful Plate.

Step 3, combining blanched broccoli rabe with sausage and garlic

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta

Yield: 4 Servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


2 tbsp olive oil

8 ounces Hot Italian pork sausage, casings removed

5-6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 large bunch broccoli rabe (see Note 1)

8 to 12 ounces penne pasta


Grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving

How to Make It

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks. Once it is mostly cooked through, add garlic until fragrant and keep pan on low heat (see Note 2).
  2. Chop off ends of broccoli rabe. Cut broccoli rabe into 1 inch segments.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Blanch chopped broccoli rabe for 1-2 minutes until wilted. Use a slotted spoon to remove broccoli rabe and transfer it to skillet with the sausage. Turn skillet up to medium heat, combine for a few minutes, and set aside.
  4. Bring pot of blanching water back to a boil. Cook pasta in blanching water until al dente, reserving ~1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
  5. Drain pasta and add pasta, broccoli, and sausage back to the pot with the blanching water over low heat. Stir until evenly combined and water is mostly gone.
  6. Serve pasta with parmigiano-reggiano cheese and red pepper flakes.

Note 1: Broccoli rabe can be difficult to find at a standard grocery store. I purchase mine at Whole Foods for approximately $4.

Note 2: If you want to add more flavor to your broccoli rabe and sausage pasta, you can add sundried tomato, kalamata olives, and/or white wine while you are cooking the sausage.

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