Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

weeknight italian sausage pasta with broccoli

a recipe by
Margaret G
Cleveland, OH

I adapted this recipe from one in my local newspaper years ago, making changes to make it a bit more healthy (turkey sausage, whole wheat pasta), and perfected the timing to make it the perfect simple weeknight dinner. I have made this recipe so many times, I have it down to a science and can have it on the table from start to finish in 20 minutes. The timing is key, so follow my steps and this will be the most delicious, easiest dinner you can muster after a busy day. Enjoy!

serves 6-8
prep time 5 Min
cook time 20 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For weeknight italian sausage pasta with broccoli

  • 3 Tbsp
    light olive oil for sauteing
  • 3
    links turkey italian sausage, cases removed (about 12 oz)
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 3 1/2 c
    broccoli florets (a whole crown package cut into florets)
  • 1 pkg
    whole wheat penne pasta (appx 13 oz)
  • freshly grated romano or asiago cheese for topping

How To Make weeknight italian sausage pasta with broccoli

  • 1
    Fill your pasta pot with salted hot water and heat it on high. While water heats, wash and cut your broccoli, and gather your other ingredients. Then put the 3 T oil into a large saucepan and heat it on medium high. By the time the water begins to boil, you should be ready to start browning the sausage.
  • 2
    When water begins to boil, put the pasta into the water, and set a timer for 3 minutes before the recommended cooking time for the pasta.
  • 3
    Add the sausage to the large heated saucepan. Break up the sausage and brown it for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to taste (I usually use about 2-3 teaspoons. We are not afraid of spice.)
  • 4
    The pasta timer should be going off right around the same time your sausage is browned. Turn off the burner on the sausage if it's done. And the broccoli to the pasta pot, stir, and leave it alone for 3 more minutes.
  • 5
    After the 3 minutes, ladle 1/2 cup of the pasta water into the sausage pot (the starch from the pasta in the water will help give the dish a thicker coating, but you can use regular hot water if you forget and drain the pot as I have many times, haha!) After draining the pasta and broccoli, dump them into the sausage saucepan. Stir everything over medium high until the water is mostly absorbed and everything is well-coated. Serve with freshly grated Romano or Asiago cheese and a salad.