I adore a a simple and flavorful meal that comes together easily like my family’s favorite Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi.
This rustic and uncomplicated recipe uses fresh ingredients with a few pantry staples to make dinner nearly fuss-free and satisfying.
This Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi uses ground sausage or ground chicken sausage but you can use whatever you like, or keep it vegetarian. We have a fabulous sausage house in our little town that makes the most incredible and creative sausages from locally sourced ingredients. So it’s a treat for me to scoot-on-down (my Southernism for the day) to the sausage house and pick up some unique sausages for this recipe.
I’ve used the traditional Italian sausage, Swedish potato, andouille, cheddar and jalapeño, sun-dried tomato and feta and probably a few more. It’s ridiculously difficult for me to make a decision when I visit our local sausage house – and it doesn’t help if I’m hungry when I’m shopping for the sausages.
This recipe is paired with one of my favorite types of pastas, Cavatappi. Cavatappi, meaning corkscrew in Italian, feels heartier and a little fancier than macaroni but with a delightful texture that holds up to broccoli, cauliflower, ground meats and sauces. When I can’t find broccolini or what some call broccoli rabe, I use the garden variety of broccoli.
I’ve been known to throw other veggies into the pot as well, especially if I have vegetables that are on their last days of shelf life. I’ve used collard greens, mushrooms, Swiss chard, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant; leftover cooked veggies that easily pair with this cozy recipe.
Broccolini and Sausage Cavatappi works beautifully as a quick weeknight meal but it’s also ideal for a cozy fall or winter weekend meal paired with a glass of Chianti.
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!
- 12 ounces Cavatappi pasta
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1-2 lbs Broccolini (broccoli rabe), chopped
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 1 lb ground sweet or spicy Italian sausage
- 1 cup of prepared basil pesto
- Squeeze of fresh lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup grated parmesan
Fill a pasta pot with water and heat over high heat. When the water boils, salt the water with one tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. About five minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccolini to the pasta. Continue to cook and when the pasta is done, the broccolini should be done as well.
While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the sausage. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the onion until wilted and then add the Italian sausage and cook until done.
When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and broccolini and place it back into the pasta pot. Toss the pasta and broccolini with the pesto and then fold in the sausage and onions. Stir in the squeeze of fresh lemon and then season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Pour the pasta into a serving dish or individual dishes and garnish with grated parmesan and serve.