Everyone, and I mean anyone I have ever served this to, declared this spicy, light and totally addictive dish, as their favorite from my kitchen. It’s bright, light and citrusy sauce makes it great for warm weather entertaining and feeding a crowd. Plus it is easily adaptable to include whatever of the season’s best produce is available or change it up for picky eaters. You don’t like broccoli? No problem just use Swiss chard or another green. Not a fan of spice? Use mild or sweet Italian sausage instead. However you decide to mix up the dish, make sure to buy the highest quality sausage and veggies because this makes all the difference in taste and texture.
- 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1 medium white onion, diced into 1/2
- 1 medium sized shallots, diced into small pieces
- 1 large red pepper, diced into 1/2
- 2 ears of fresh corn, steamed and then cut off the cobb
- 1 buch of broccoli rabe or broccolini, top 1/4 part with leaves only, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 large lemons, squeezed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese + more for serving
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 1/2 cups cooked Orecchiette pasta, about 3 cups dried
- In a medium sized saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add in the sausage meat (which has been taken out of the casings).
- On medium heat, allow to brown, stirring and breaking apart the meat, for about 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, carefully take the browned sausage meat out of the pan and place into a bowl.
- Add in another 1/4 Tbsp. of olive oil if there isn’t much left. Add in the diced onion and shallots, stirring to coat with oil on medium low heat. Allow onions and shallots to soften, about 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep all other veggies.
- Add in the red peppers and corn. Stir and cook on medium heat, another 7 minutes.
- Add in the dried herbs and garlic. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes until they become fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and allow to caramelize and become dark red, about 5 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice, stirring the bottom of the pan and all sides to make sure you scrape up all of the delicious caramelized flavors of the herbs and tomato paste. Allow to cook for 1 minutes.
- Add in the chicken stock and then the sausage back in. Turn down the heat slightly, cover, and allow to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the pasta.
- Once the sauce has been simmering for about 20 minutes, *** add in the broccoli and cheese. Stir and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes uncovered, until broccoli is cooked through but not too soft. Taste to make sure after 5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve over cooked pasta. Top with more cheese and red pepper flakes for a little more of a kick.
*** If you would like to make the sauce ahead of time, stop cooking after the 20 minutes simmering. Do not add in the broccoli. Once ready to serve, reheat the sauce covered and then add in and finish with the broccoli and cheese. Sauce can be made a day or two ahead of time.