Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta Recipe

Dinner Tonight

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Dinner Tonight: Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pasta Recipe

Sure, it’s a classic. So, why have I been getting it so wrong? Because of my misadventures with the dish, the fiancée had sworn off broccoli rabe as disgusting, and I was left to try to get my fill any way I could.

That usually meant in its cold incarnation at buffet lines. It wasn’t working out. That’s when I saw it in a wicker basket at the farmers' market. It was going quickly. An employee would grab a big armful, plop it on the basket, and immediately someone would buy it. I watched as two different people walked off with huge bags of the stuff. It was time.

My quest was how to do this classic correctly. I’d been led wrong before, so I searched through my massive stacks to find one that seemed perfect. It had to be simple—dead simple—with nothing much besides the sausage and broccoli rabe. Surprisingly, the version that looked the best was the Joy of Cooking version. I used a different pasta and decided to leave out the oil—my sausage was fatty enough. But for those without fear, a couple tablespoons of olive oil would make this a heartier dish. We didn’t need it.

The fiancée finished her plate.


  • 1 pound of Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe, washed, dried, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound of pasta (orecchiette is traditional, but I used spaghetti)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese to grate


  1. 1.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  2. 2.

    Remove the casings from the sausage, and cut into small pieces. Cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until browned.

  3. 3.

    Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for a minute, and then add the broccoli rabe. Stir and then cover the skillet.

  4. 4.

    Cook the pasta according to the box directions. When al dente, drain the pasta, and then add it to the skillet. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Then plate, grate the cheese, and enjoy!