Pasta with Broccolini and Sausage

After perusing my favorite November and December food magazine, what really sung to me was the recipe for Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage. I searched the farmer stalls, Whole Foods and local supermarket for broccoli rabe and had no luck.

However, I found broccolini and thought to myself, maybe this would be a good substitute. I did not use the anchovy fillets or orecchiette pasta, but I think the version created was unbelievably balanced, spicy, fresh and the broccolini was texturally enjoyable. I can only hope in a future replication is as successful.

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Serves 2 to 4

  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb whole wheat pasta medium shells
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 ounces Italian sausage or spicy jalapeno chicken sausage
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lb  broccolini, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesean cheese grated 1/4 c, plus extra serving

Combine 1/2 T oil, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp garlic in bowl. Bring 2 quarts water to boil. Add pasta and 1/2 T salt and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 c cooking water and drain pasta.

While pasta cooks, heat 1/2 T oil in non stick skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, until browned and cooked for 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Leave rendered fat in skillet.

Return skillet medium heat, add 2 T oil, remaining garlic and pepper flakes. Cook, stir ofeten until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and half brocccoli rabe, cook until wilted about 1 minutes. Add remaining brocoolini and 1/4  tsp salt. Stir often until crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer broccolini to colander set in bowl. Do not wash skillet.

Bring broth and 1/2 cup pasta water to boil in empty skillet over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup 4 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add butter. Add sauce, rabe, sausage and 1/4 cup parmesan to pasta and toss to combine. Add cooking water to adjust consistency. Serve immediately.

Spicy jalapeno chicken sausage
Pasta with broccolini, sausage and shavings of parmesean cheese

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