A super simple recipe that uses minimal ingredients yet packs rich, savory, satisfying flavors. It includes hearty pasta, seasoned Italian sausage, tender fresh broccoli, flavorful olive oil, and bold and nutty tasting parmesan.
Ready in: 30minutes
1lbbroccoli crowns,bottom stalk trimmed and reserved for another use, remaining cut into florets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. orecchiette pasta
4Tbspextra-virgin olive oil,divided, plus more if desired
1 1/2Tbsp mincedgarlic(4 cloves)
1lbItalian sausage*(can use mild or hot)
2/3cup (1.6 oz)finely shredded Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 1/2cupsreserved pasta water,divided
Red pepper flakes, for serving
Add 4 quarts of water to a large pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat then season with salt (I use 2 Tbsp).
Add broccoli to boiling water and cook until tender, about 4 - 5 minutes. Using a spider, remove broccoli and transfer to a colander, while leaving water in pot.
Run broccoli under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well. Chop broccoli into smaller pieces.
Add pasta to water in pot and boil about 1 minutes shy of al dente, according to time listed on package. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water.
While pasta is boiling, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil into a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Crumble sausage in small chunks into skillet and cook, breaking up and tossing occasionally, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Add garlic during last 2 minutes of cooking the sausage.
Pour in 1 cup of the pasta water into the sausage. Let it simmer for about a minute and reduce slightly. Add all dente pasta and cook while tossing, until tender, about 2 minutes.
Drizzle in remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil, season with red pepper flakes to taste and toss.
Sprinkle in parmesan, and toss to melt into sauce.
Toss in broccoli. Season with salt as needed and pepper to taste.
Loosen with more pasta water as needed. Drizzle servings with more olive oil if desired, serve with garnished with more parmesan.
*If you have links on hand vs loose sausage then use 4 Italian sausage links. Cut and remove casings.