There are several reasons why this sausage and broccoli orecchiette should be the next pasta dish on your dinner schedule. The first is the pockets of deliciousness that are created when the meaty, savoury and slightly spicy flavours make their way into the dome-shaped orecchiette. Next, there's the broccoli or broccolini. Not only are you getting your daily dose of green veg. It also has a meaty texture that pairs superbly well with the sausage.
The best thing is that it is a very quick and easy dish to put together. You can easily get this one on the table in 25 mins. It's also worth mentioning that this is a very versatile dish that you can adjust based on the ingredients you have available. Feel free to change up the pasta, sausage, and broccoli type.
🛒 What do I need to make this recipe?
- Pasta - I use orecchiette because I love how the other ingredients and flavour in the dish settle into its indentation. Fusilli, rigatoni, farfalle, conchiglie and penne will also work well.
- Red chilli - you can swap this for red pepper flakes.
- Chicken stock - can be substituted for vegetable stock.
Tools & equipment:
- Sharp knife - for prepping the ingredients
- Saucepan - for boiling the pasta
- Medium to large frying pan - for cooking the broccoli and sausage
- Colander - for draining the pasta
- Fine grater - for topping the finished dish with yummy parmesan
🧑🍳 How to make Sausage and Broccolini/Broccoli Pasta
1. Cook the pasta
Fill a large saucepan with water, salt generously, bring to boil and cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Remember to reserve a little pasta water before you drain it.
2. Sauté the chilli, garlic and sausage
Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the olive oil. Add the chilli and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then add the chopped sausage and fry it for a few more minutes until it is cooked.
3. Add the broccoli or broccolini and stock
Add the broccoli florets or broccolini and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then add the chicken stock and leave it to simmer for a few minutes until the broccoli or broccolini is tender and the stock has evaporated.
4. Mix with the cooked pasta
Reduce the heat of the pan to low and add the cooked pasta to the frying pan and toss everything together until it is mixed. Stir in the butter and add 1-2 tbsps of the pasta water if the pasta requires additional moisture. Serve immediately and top with freshly ground black pepper and grated parmesan.
👍 Top tips for perfect Sausage & Broccolini Pasta
- Salt the pasta water generously - the pasta water should taste salty like the ocean. It's likely you'll need to add a small handful of salt to achieve this. If the thought of this makes you feel concerned about your sodium levels, don't worry. Most of this salt will go down the drain with the pasta water.
- Reserve some pasta water - the starchy pasta water is a great way to add extra moisture to the finished dish if needed. Just dip a mug/cup into the pasta water before you drain it. It's likely you'll only need a small amount so add it one tablespoon at a time if the pasta seems a little dry.
- Serve with parmesan and black pepper - fresh parmesan and black pepper complete the dish so don't hesitate to add them liberally.
This dish tastes best when eaten fresh but the leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 3 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Broccolini (otherwise known as tenderstem broccoli in the UK) has smaller florets and longer more delicate stems than regular broccoli. Broccolini is slightly sweeter than regular broccoli but otherwise has a very similar taste. Both varieties taste great with sausage and pasta.
Orecchiette works well for this dish because the flavours from the ingredients and seasonings sink into the dome shape of the pasta making each mouthful a real delight. Rigatoni, penne or conchiglie will also work well.