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Photo: Frances Janisch Photo by: Photo: Frances Janisch

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

Orecchiette pasta is an ideal partner for the weighty sausage and broccoli rabe in this recipe. For a milder flavor, use broccoli instead of broccoli rabe.

Real Simple SEPTEMBER 2005

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes
  • Other: 10 Minutes


  • 1 pound orecchiette or some other short pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, or 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 head broccoli rabe, ends trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth and red pepper and bring to a boil. Then add the broccoli rabe, cover, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the drained pasta, season with the salt and black pepper, and toss to combine.

Tip: Broccoli rabe, a leafy distant cousin of broccoli, has a bitter flavor and smaller florets. For a milder alternative, substitute broccoli. For a more peppery bite, try arugula, Swiss chard, or beet greens.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calcium: 423.04mg
  • Calories: 848.74
  • Calories from fat: 37%
  • Carbohydrate: 85.91g
  • Cholesterol: 90.52mg
  • Fat: 34.89g
  • Fiber: 4.29g
  • Iron: 6.37mg
  • Protein: 46.79mg
  • Saturated fat: 16.84g
  • Sodium: 1438.4mg

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Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Recipe