Pot of Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage  Breadcrumbs

by Susan Hanna

Here’s another delicious dish from Alison Roman’s new cookbook Nothing Fancy. Cook a pot of rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta and drain. Brown spicy sausage or chorizo and set aside. Brown breadcrumbs and set aside, then fry garlic and add tomato paste and broccoli rabe. Cook a few minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender-crisp. Add the cooked pasta, a splash of pasta cooking water and sausage back to the pot and heat through. Garnish with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Serves 6

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use PC Free From hot Italian sausages, which are additive-free, a panko without additives and No Name tomato paste. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives, preservatives or colour. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (454 g) fresh chorizo or spicy hot Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 ½ cups (375 ml) fresh coarse bread crumbs or panko
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound (454 g) dried tube-shaped pasta, such as rigatoni or ziti
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) tomato paste 
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped
  • Hunk of pecorino, Parmesan, or ricotta salata, for grating

Preparation:

  1. Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage, leaving the fat behind.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil and the bread crumbs to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving at least 1 cup (250 ml) of the pasta water.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil in the pot, then add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s a nice brick-red color and starts to stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the broccoli rabe, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s all wilted and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add the pasta and sausage back to the pot along with ½ cup (125 ml) of pasta water. Cook, stirring constantly, until each piece of pasta is coated nicely in the tomato-y, sausage-y sauce.
  7. Serve straight from the pot (or not), with toasted bread crumbs and cheese for sprinkling over. 

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman