Pasta With Sausage and Broccoli

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This is another post from ages ago that has been languishing in my drafts box. This pasta was amazing, it needs to see the light of day, even if it doesn’t have a picture of my completed meal.

I’m an avid Martha Stewart fan and subscribe to a couple of her magazines. I love to think about doing all the great ideas for food and decorating that she had in them. Not that I have the time, energy or guts to do most of them, but I like to think about it. When the March issue of “Everyday Food” came in my mail box I was instantly hit with the desire to make the cover dish. As luck would have it it was actually the family friendly Emeril recipe “Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccoli“.

When I first told my boyfriend that I was going to make it and showed it to him he announced that there was no way that my children would eat it and that it looked disgusting. What he was forgetting was that my children love broccoli. In fact, when given the option at restaurants, my son will often pick broccoli over french fries. When I told him that the recipe called for anchovies he almost gagged.

I’ve never cooked with anchovies before and I’ll tell you, I was surprised when they really did melt when I mixed them in the sauce like the cooks on TV always say. They also didn’t taste fishy at all, more earthy and nutty than anything. When I went to cook it, I thought I had everything I needed, but I was out of the rigatoni that the recipe called for, so instead I used penne. It’s similar in shape and is rigged like rigatoni, it’s just a bit thinner.

I decided that the next time I made this dish I would use half the pasts and twice the broccoli because that’s what the kids really wanted. I loved the freshness of this dish, the lemon made it seem a bit bright and tangy and the sausage added just a hint of heat. Add to that the one pot nature of this dish and it’s going in my pile of make again dishes.

Oh, and the kids loved it and loved that they got to help cook it.

Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli

1 pound tubular pasta like rigatoni or penne
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
Parmesan, grated, for serving

  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. In last 2 minutes of cooking, add broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp-tender. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and broccoli.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, anchovies, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Add sausage to pot and cook over medium-high, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, return pasta and broccoli to pot, and add oil mixture. Toss well to combine, adding enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.
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