This pasta dish is one my husband and I absolutely love. Unlike many recipes for pasta and broccoli where the broccoli is left fairly crisp, this pasta dish is made by cooking the broccoli for a longer period of time, until it falls apart and creates a soupy lovely green sauce with bits of sausage. Most broccoli lovers ask for the recipe. It tastes even better the day after you make it.
Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage
1-3/4 lbs. broccoli bunch left whole with the stalk
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped to equal 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, out of the casing
1-3/4-2 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 c. for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 lb. pasta (I like bow ties or mini penne)
Begin by bringing a 6 quart stockpot 3/4 full of water to the boil. While the water is coming to the boil take the broccoli and cut off the bottom tough 1 inch of the stalk. Peel the stalk then remove any leaves. Leave the broccoli bunch whole for cooking. Once the water has boiled add 1 tsp. kosher salt then add the whole broccoli bunch. It make stick up out of the water. That is fine. Partially cover and let boil for 20-25 minutes until broccoli has mostly fallen apart in the water. The upper portion of the broccoli stalk should be fork tender. Use a fine mesh spider or strainer to scoop out the broccoli bits and pieces into a bowl. Save the broccoli water to cook the pasta in. You will need to add more water to the broccoli water to have enough to cook the macaroni. Transfer the broccoli to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. It will be soupy. In a large skillet combine oil and garlic. Turn the heat to medium and cook until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add Italian sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon to bite size pieces. Cover and let the sausage cook for 10 minutes until it is no longer pink. Add chopped up broccoli and chicken stock. Taste and check for salt and pepper. Add 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil then cover. Lower heat slightly and let simmer for 5-7 minutes. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, saving 1 cup pasta water. Stir pasta into the broccoli sauce. If it seems dry add some of the reserved pasta water. Taste and add more cheese if needed. Pour into serving bowl and garnish with an additional 1/4 cup of cheese. Serves 6.