Delicious Recipe For Broccoli Rabe Sausage And Pasta

Broccoli rabe, with its slightly bitter notes, pairs beautifully with the rich and savory flavors of sausage. When these two are combined with the comforting texture of pasta, the result is a dish that’s both hearty and bursting with layers of taste.

Perfect for those who appreciate the harmonious blend of greens and meats, this recipe for broccoli rabe, sausage, and pasta is a culinary journey that celebrates the richness of simple ingredients.

Delicious Recipe For Broccoli Rabe Sausage And Pasta

This dish is a staple in Italian households, a harmonious blend of bitter broccoli rabe, savory sausage, and al dente pasta. The robust flavors make it a hearty meal that’s perfect for both weeknight dinners and special occasions.

Time Required

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 300g pasta of choice (orecchiette or penne work well)
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
  • 300g Italian sausage (spicy or mild based on preference)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust as per taste)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese for the serving


  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Keep aside 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Blanch the broccoli rabe for about 2 minutes until slightly tender in a separate pot of boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat up olive oil over medium heat. Then, add the sausage, breaking it into pieces as it cooks.
  • Once the sausage is browned, add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, sautéing until fragrant.
  • Add the blanched broccoli rabe to the skillet, stirring to combine.
  • Toss in the cooked pasta, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with grated cheese.


  • Pasta Choice: Orecchiette is traditional for this dish as it holds the flavors well, but any pasta will work.
  • Sausage Selection: Opt for high-quality Italian sausage, either spicy or sweet, based on your preference.
  • Blanching: Don’t skip blanching the broccoli rabe. It helps reduce its bitterness.
  • Boost Flavor: Add a splash of white wine to the sausage after it’s browned for added depth.
  • Cheese Matters: Using a high-quality aged Parmesan or Pecorino Romano makes a difference.
  • Extra Heat: For those who love spice, increase the amount of red pepper flakes or add sliced chili peppers.
  • Lemon Zest: A sprinkle of lemon zest before serving can brighten up the flavors.


  • Store leftover Broccoli Rabe Sausage And Pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat it on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to refresh the dish.

Serving Suggestions

  • Accompany with a fresh mixed greens salad dressed in a light vinaigrette.
  • Serve with crusty Italian bread or garlic bread to soak up the flavors.
  • Pair with a medium-bodied red wine, such as Chianti or Montepulciano.

What Can You Substitute For Broccoli Rabe?

If you need a substitute for broccoli rabe (rapini), consider using one of these alternatives:

  • Broccoli: Regular broccoli can be a suitable substitute, although it has a milder flavor and larger florets.
  • Kale: Kale offers a similar bitterness and texture to broccoli rabe.
  • Swiss chard: It is a leafy green with a mild bitterness that works well in place of broccoli rabe.
  • Spinach: Spinach can be used as a milder, softer substitute, though it lacks the same bitterness.
  • Collard greens: Collard greens are a close substitute with a slightly bitter taste.

Bottom Line

The fusion of broccoli rabe’s distinct flavor with the savory depth of sausage creates a delightful contrast, and when intertwined with pasta, it forms a meal that’s both satisfying and flavorful. 

This recipe showcases how traditional ingredients can be reimagined into a contemporary dish that resonates with both nostalgia and novelty. 

Whether served at a family dinner or a gathering of friends, this broccoli rabe, sausage, and pasta dish is a testament to the timeless appeal of classic combinations reinvented for the modern palate.

Also read: Recipe For Angel Hair Pasta With Shrimp

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