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LivingFood and DrinkPot of Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage  Breadcrumbs

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.


  • 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


  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




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