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This penne with sausage and broccoli is an Italian American Classic that is a definite weeknight dinner winner! In just 3 simple steps you can and will have dinner on the table in NO time. Sounds pretty simple, right?! See for yourself by checking out the simple step by step below….
Start with a large pot of heavily salted water. This water is going to play a big role in this dish. First blanch the florets in the water for 3-4 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon off the to side in a bowl filled with ice to allow it to retain it’s color and STOP cooking. THEN using the same pot of water you will cook your penne pasta until it’s reached desired doneness. Don’t forget to reserve some cooking liquid before draining.
NOTE: DON’T be afraid to SALT that Water BAE. If your water doesn’t taste too salty when you put the broccoli in then it is NOT enough.
While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large pan and begin to lightly brown the garlic. Remove garlic with a spoon and set aside for later use. Add the bulk sausage to the pan and cook through. About 10-15 minutes. Add the florets to the pan and saut together for a few minutes. Do not overcook.
Add the cooked penne, the garlic, lots of grated Parmesan cheese and about half the cooking liquid. Mix together, bring to a rapid boil and then turn off the heat. If the dish looks dry add more water. I f you like a little heat you can also add some crushed red pepper flakes.
How simple and AMAZING does this look?! It is a must in your menu rotation, especially on those nights when you are in a pinch. It’s one of those dishes that looks like it could be a lot of work but is actually quite simple and flavorful.
Of course if you decide to make it please let me know in the comments below or even better tag me @Cheftini on Social Media! Happy Cooking
Editor’s NOTE: This post was originally posted on September 2013 and has been updated to share updated pictures and content.
Penne with Sausage and Broccoli
- 16 oz. of penne pasta
- 5 cloves of garlic sliced
- 1 lb of italian sausage removed from casing
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup of reserved cooking water or chicken stock
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive oil
- Pinch of red pepper flakes optional
- Bring water to a boil water in a large pot. Salt water generously. Cook broccoli florets boiling water for no more than 5 minutes. Remove florets with slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice to preserve color and prevent overcooking.
- Bring the water back to a boil and then cook the pasta. While pasta is cooking heat a large skillet with oil and saute garlic until very lightly browned. Remove garlic and set aside. In the same pan brown the sausage and cook until done, aprox. 10-15 mins. Add the broccoli and saute a minute or two.
- Drain cooked pasta, reserving a cup of liquid. Add the cooked pasta to the pan mix together and then gradually add the water (or stock) to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered. Add the crispy garlic and grated parmesan cheese (to taste) and toss together. OR Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a spicier dish.
- Make sure to add plenty of salt to the water as it will flavor the dish!
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