Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage

Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz package Italian chicken sausage, casing removed
  • 12 oz uncooked Orecchiette pasta (or brown rice or quinoa pasta for gluten-free)
  • 8 cups fresh broccoli florets, no stems (16 oz)
  • 6 Tbls. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet and brown the sausage over medium-high, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon until browned, 5 to 7 minutes; remove from heat.
  3. When the water boils, add the pasta and bring back to a boil, when the water is boiling, add broccoli and cook according to pasta instructions for al dente.
  4. When pasta is almost done cooking, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and broccoli.
  5. Return the pot to the stove and set heat to high; add 2 tbsp olive oil, when hot, add garlic. Cook until golden, about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Reduce heat back to low and add pasta back to the pot with the sausage.
  6. Mix well, add remaining olive oil, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste mixing well and smashing any large pieces of broccoli to break up.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and mix well adding more if needed.
  8. Serve in pasta bowls with additional grated cheese on the side, if desired.