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Sausage Broccoli Pasta

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posted: 03/27/21

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Sausage Broccoli Pasta is a quick and easy dinner recipe that your whole family will love. It is made in just 30 minutes but with the most amazing flavors.

overhead view of sausage broccoli pasta topped with fresh parmesan and red pepper flakes

This amazing and simple broccoli pasta recipe is an easy twist on my much loved Broccoli Pasta. That is a great vegetarian dinner that has gotten positive reviews. The other day I was craving something a little heavier, so I added some Italian sausage.

The end result was this delicious sausage pasta recipe. It is such a fast recipe, and I know it will become a weeknight favorite with your family. The flavors of garlic, Parmesan, and Italian sausage will win over even the pickiest eater.

How to Make Sausage Broccoli Pasta

  1. Cook Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Remember you are only cooking half of the box. Be sure to reserve pasta water before you drain the noodles.
  2. Prepare Broccoli and Cheese: While the water is coming to a boil, cut up the broccoli and grate the Parmesan cheese. In order for this recipe to go quickly, you need to multitask.
  3. Sauté Garlic: In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes for just 30 seconds. You want to cook it until it is fragrant making sure not to burn it.
  4. Brown the Sausage: Add the sausage to the skillet, and break it up, browning it.
  5. Add the Broccoli: Toss the broccoli florets, reserved pasta water, and some kosher salt in with the sausage. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
  6. Add in Pasta: Finally add in the pasta and the cheese.
small plate full of broccoli pasta with sausage in it

How to Cook Pasta

Boiling noodles seems like just about the easiest thing in the world, but there are a few things that I always suggest. Since this Sausage Broccoli Pasta is so simple, you want the pasta to be perfect.

  • Make sure to use enough water. For this dish you want about 8 cups of water.
  • Salt the water. Adding a teaspoon of kosher salt to the water adds so much to this recipe.
  • Add the pasta only once the water has come to a roaring boil. You want to see really big bubbles.
  • Note the time on the box, and set a timer for how long your pasta should cook. Pull out a noodle as the timer goes off, and test the pasta. It should have a little bite left to it.

Why Reserve Pasta Water

Before you drain your pasta water for this Italian sausage pasta, you want to save some of that salty starchy water. It is like liquid gold and just that little half cup pulls this recipe together at the end.

Sautéing Garlic

When I was first learning to cook, one mistake that I made regularly was burning my garlic. Garlic only takes about 30 seconds to cook in olive oil. Those 30 seconds make it soft, flavor the oil, and transform the garlic from intense to the perfect flavor.

However, longer than 30 seconds and your garlic will burn. This adds intense bitterness to your oil and can really ruin a whole dish. What prevents garlic from burning is adding more ingredients after it sautés to absorb the heat of the pan. This is why in quick dishes like this, it’s a good idea to have your other ingredients ready to go.

If you should burn your garlic, just start over. You will have wasted some oil and garlic but you will save the rest of your dinner.

Using Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

A key to success for this sausage pasta is using freshly grated Parmesan cheese. While a little more expensive, it is well worth the extra cost. There are so few ingredients in this recipe, that we want to make sure each one is the best. Freshly grated parmesan cheese will add the perfect taste and texture here.

side view of Italian sausage pasta with parmesan and red pepper flakes

Other Fast Pasta Dinners

If you make this dinner or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

overhead view of sausage broccoli pasta topped with fresh parmesan and red pepper flakes
0 from 0 votes

Sausage Broccoli Pasta

Serves: 4 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Sausage Broccoli Pasta is a quick and easy dinner recipe that your whole family will love. It is made in just 30 minutes but with the most amazing flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound pasta shells cooked according to package instructions, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water before draining
  • 1 pound broccoli (3 small heads or 4 cups florets) cut into small florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package, reserving 1/4 cup of cooking water before draining, and adding 1 teaspoon of kosher salt with the dry pasta.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the rest of the ingredients. Cut the broccoli, mince the garlic, and shred the cheese.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn it. Add in the sausage and break up, browning it.
  • Once in the sausage is browned, add the broccoli, pasta water, and a teaspoon of salt. Cook until the broccoli is tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Toss with the cooked pasta. Stir in the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
overhead view of sausage broccoli pasta topped with fresh parmesan and red pepper flakes

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Sausage Broccoli Pasta

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Kathy says

    You are now my “go to” site for recipes. I love how detailed you are and how easy and really tasty your recipes are. Thx. Keep them coming!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oh Kathy, thank you so much for this comment. It made my day!

  2. Miroslav says

    It seems you forgot to mention adding parmesan.

    • Lisa Longley says

      It is in the last step. :)

  3. Denna Dlabaj says

    Lovely. Tell us how it is.

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