Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Broccoli

Orecchiette with Italian Sausage and Broccoli

 

Looking for a quick, satisfying weeknight pasta meal? Here ya go.  A wonderfully light and flavorful sauce is created by combining Italian sausage, loads of fresh garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, chicken broth, Parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs.  When the pasta is added to the saute pan, it absorbs some of the sauce.  This absorption really increases the yummy factor of this dish.  The broccoli is left crisp and fresh to balance the sausage and pasta.

Serve with a nice side salad, or fresh bread for sopping up extra sauce.  You just made a delicious dinner on a weeknight.  You should be proud!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz dry orecchiette pasta
  • 1 large head of broccoli, stem removed, and cut into bite sized florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for finishing
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs (I used a combination of Italian parsley and basil), and additional basil for finishing
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente.  Add broccoli florets one minute before pasta is done cooking.  Drain, and reserve pasta and broccoli.  (Note: Broccoli will be slightly under cooked.  Not to worry, as it will continue to cook in the sauce.)

Meanwhile, add olive oil to a large saute pan over medium heat.  Brown sausage, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks.  Once fully browned, add garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.  Reduce heat to low, add chicken broth and cook for 6-8 minutes so broth reduces.  Add parmesan cheese, reserved pasta and broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes (if using), and fresh herbs.  Toss together and cook for 6-8 additional minutes, stirring constantly so pasta becomes coated with the sauce.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Toss one last time so everything is fully combined.

Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh torn basil leaves.

Servings: 6 (Serving Size 1 1/2 cups)

Notes: Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste’s Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

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