Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Tips: Cook the broccoli rabe the night before and you'll be way ahead. Whatever you do, read the recipe through start to finish before you[ get started. It's a little out of the ordinary but relatively painless. Cook off the garlic and sausage up to one hour ahead and let it sit in the pan until you're ready to finish the dish.]

Total Time:
55 min
15 min
15 min
25 min

8 servings

  • 1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed of damaged leaves
  • 1 pound orecchiette or other pasta noodle
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, cut into quarter-inch slices
  • Salt
  • 1 cup coarse, seasoned bread crumbs, toasted, optional garnish
  • Pecorino Romano or Parmesan, optional garnish
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Cut the broccoli rabe into 3 to 4 inch pieces, discarding the stems. In a large pot of rapidly boiling water, blanch the broccoli rabe until tender and cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes. Before you drain broccoli rabe, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid. Drain and rinse the broccoli rabe with cold water until it has cooled off. Spread it out on a towel to finish draining.

  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions until al dente.

  • While the pasta is cooking, place 2 tablespoons of water into a cold skillet with garlic and sausage and then turn heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden and sausage is cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour reserved broccoli water into pan with sausage.

  • When the pasta is cooked, drain it and place back in pot you cooked it in and season with salt. Pour sausage sauce over pasta and stir in cooked broccoli rabe. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

  • If the Queen's coming to dinner: Garnish with fresh bread crumbs and/or freshly grated pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese.

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3.3 8
This was delicious! I read the reviews before I tried making it, and made a few small adjustments that do not affect the fat grams but can enhance the flavor. I added a can of tomato paste to the cup of water, along with a small amount of olive oil, and a splash of white wine for added flavor. I also used barilla pasta with high amount of protein, adding to amount of protein. Loved it, different than usual spaghetti and meatballs/sausage. Broccoli rabe was a cinch to blanch/make and set aside. I used garlic powder, some hot pepper flakes, and some hot sauce to add a little more heat and flavor. I didn't use chicken stock but might try that next time. Will definitely make this again, I bet it would freeze well or be good for leftovers a night or two later also. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tasty with the addition of a little Olive Oil and chicken stock for extra moisture. Annedaly10 - I believe the negative reviews are just a matter of palate and personal taste. Some like a little more oily taste or perhaps a little saltier. The juice and oil from the cooked sausage poured over the pasta may not be enough to add flavor for some or perhaps the sausage they use is not as flavorful. Still, a good comfort dish with the addition of a loaf of crusty bread and a salad! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this twice and love it! I was surprised to see negative reviews, then I re-read the ingredients. I used half a pound of pasta, not a whole pound. I was cooking for 2, and still we have leftovers. Delicious that way, make your own adjustments. I am a former New Yorker and this reminds of great Italian dishes I had in my favorite Italian restaurant. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Lidia Bastianich has a great recipe for this dish. Here is one that is very close It is not worth sacrificing a few calories for a lot of flavor... item not reviewed by moderator and published
I read this recipe and was worried. Where would the flavor come from? How could the 1 cup of brocolli rabe washwater be the sauce for 1 lb. of pasta? I've been suprised before, so I tried it anyway. My fears came true: Bland, dry, boring (even after last minute additions of toasted pignoli and grated cheese on top). Needs olive oil, more garlic or a finer dice of garlic, Hot pepper flakes, slightly thickened chicken stock... Hell, make up your own recipe- guaranteed it will be better than this one! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe. It's so easy and it tastes much more decadent than it is. I end up craving it about once a week. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have had this dish (or something similar) before, and was really excited to try making it myself for the first time. It turned out OK, but not as good as if the recipe had called for some olive oil(!)--a well-known staple of good Italian cooking, and healthy for you in moderation. A few other things--even with a sharp knife, it was hard to slice the sausage raw. Next time, I will boil it, slice it, then brown it in the skillet, so that the presentation is a little better. Also next time I think I will remove most of the large slices of garlic from the sauce before I serve it over the pasta. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious without all the fat and calories of the way I have made it in the past. Same delicious taste. I can enjoy this just as much and still stay on my weight loss program. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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