How to Whip Up Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Sausage

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Christina Flores

· 3 min read

Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Sausage

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Additional Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4-6


  • 1 lb broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Cook:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add the penne to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  5. Add the cooked broccoli rabe to the skillet with the sausage and garlic. Toss to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the broccoli rabe is tender.
  6. Add the cooked penne, Parmesan cheese, and butter to the skillet. Toss to coat everything evenly and let the butter melt, about 2 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve immediately, with additional Parmesan cheese on the side.

Cook’s Note:

  • If you prefer a less bitter flavor, you can blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for 1-2 minutes before adding it to the skillet.
  • For a spicier dish, add an extra pinch of red pepper flakes or use hot Italian sausage.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • This dish can be easily customized to your taste. Try adding other vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes or spinach, or use a different type of pasta.

Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, is a nutrient-dense green that is a member of the broccoli family. It has a slightly bitter and peppery flavor that pairs beautifully with the savory Italian sausage in this pasta dish. The combination of the tender broccoli rabe, al dente penne pasta, and the rich, flavorful sausage creates a satisfying and wholesome meal.

One of the great things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily adjust the ingredients to suit your personal preferences or dietary needs. For example, if you prefer a less bitter flavor, you can blanch the broccoli rabe in boiling water for a minute or two before adding it to the skillet. This helps to mellow out the bitterness and makes the greens a bit more tender.

If you’re looking to add a bit more heat to the dish, you can use hot Italian sausage instead of the regular variety. Or, you can simply add an extra pinch of red pepper flakes to the skillet. The spicy kick pairs nicely with the other flavors in the dish.

Another way to customize this recipe is by adding other vegetables to the mix. Cherry tomatoes, spinach, or even roasted red peppers would all be delicious additions. You could also experiment with different types of pasta, such as whole wheat penne or even a gluten-free variety.

One of the best things about this Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Sausage is that it’s a relatively quick and easy dish to prepare, making it a great option for a weeknight dinner. The total time from start to finish is just 50 minutes, with the majority of that time being hands-off cooking time.

Another bonus is that this dish is quite nutritious. Broccoli rabe is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and calcium. The Italian sausage provides a good source of protein, while the pasta adds complex carbohydrates to help fuel your body.

Overall, this Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Sausage is a delicious and healthy meal that is sure to please the whole family. With its bold flavors, versatile ingredients, and easy preparation, it’s a recipe that you’ll want to add to your regular dinner rotation.

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About Christina Flores

Hi, I am Christina Flores, author of I'm passionate about creating delicious and nutritious recipes to help people lead healthier lives. Join me on this culinary journey as we explore the world of healthy eating together!