Pasta with sausage & broccoli rabe

This is one of my favorite comfort food dishes. Although you can substitute broccoli for the rabe, or even spinach, the broccoli rabe really offers the best flavor: its bitterness combined with the sausage is a winning combination. I buy the sausage and parmesan at my go-to local Italian cheese and meat shop: Di Palo’s.

1 pound dry rigatoni or penne
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken or pork sausage, casings removed
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Make the dish
Cook the pasta according to the directions on box. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until cooked, about 8 minutes. Discard any excess fat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and Parmesan and cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly. In a large bowl combine pasta, salt, and black pepper and toss with sausage/broccoli rabe to combine. Set aside for a few minutes before serving to allow the pasta to absorb some of the flavorful liquid. Spoon into individual bowls.

For pasta and/or sausage and some of the best parmesan, head to:
Di Palo’s Fine Foods/200 Grand St/212-226-1033

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