Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Serving Size: Makes 4 servings

Spicy sausage and bitter broccoli rabe is such a classic Italian comfort combination. This recipe takes it up a notch by adding a quick, easy pesto that gives the pasta something to cling to and rounds out the flavors with a little fresh garlic and nutty Parmesan.


  • 1 red 0nion, sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, partial stems removed
  • 2 large links hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 lb pasta
  • For the pesto:
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup oil (may be more depending on how thick or thin you want your pesto)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When ready, cook the pasta, following the time specifications on the box. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water before draining.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the broccoli rabe in 1/2 tbsp olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat. Add a 1/4 of a cup of water or stock and cook until broccoli is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside. If there is still excess moisture, drain in a colander.
  3. Add the onions to the pan with a little additional olive oil and saute for a few minutes. When translucent, add the sausage, breaking apart with your spatula to form smaller pieces. Saute until sausage is cooked through and properly browned on all sides. Throw the rabe back into the pan and stir to combine over low heat.
  4. In the meantime, combine all pesto ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth, adding the olive oil a little bit at a time until the mixture is fully pureed.
  5. When the pasta has finished cooking, drain, reserving a bit of pasta cooking water. Add it to the sausage mixture along with the pesto. Toss to combine, adding a bit of pasta water if it looks too dry.
  6. Enjoy this hearty weeknight dinner with friends. Or, in my case, bring the leftovers to work with you the next day to share with your boss.


Comment Share This!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>