Thursday, February 11, 2016

Penne with Broccolini & Sausage

I saw this recipe when I was flipping through a People magazine and knew I wanted to try it. I love a good pasta, and this one seemed simple...sometimes the simplest recipes, with the fewest ingredients, end up being the best! Rob and I both loved this...it's full of flavor, and the red pepper flakes give it some heat. Don't forget to add the shaved Parmesan at the end. It adds a lot! I served ours with a green salad and crusty French bread.
 
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Penne with Broccolini & Sausage
{adapted from Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine, by Lidia Bastianich}
 
2 Tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 oz. sweet Italian sausage links
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 head broccolini, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz. penne pasta
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly shaved Parmesan
 
Directions
 
Bring a large pot of water with 2 Tablespoons salt to a boil for the pasta. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausages and brown all over, about 6 minutes; remove to a plate.
 
Add remaining oil to skillet. Stir in garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the broccolini and season with remaining salt and red pepper flakes, tossing to coat. Cover and let steam until bright green, about 5 minutes.
 
Add penne to the boiling water and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Slice the sausages into 1/2 inch rounds and add to broccolini along with 1 cup pasta water and the butter. Bring to a simmer and cook until the broccolini is very tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
 
Add cooked penne to broccolini mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Toss and serve.
 
**The original recipe called for ziti pasta and broccoli rabe. I couldn't find either at my grocery store, so I substituted penne and broccolini. I love broccolini, so this was not a problem! Next time I'll probably slice the sausages prior to cooking just so it cooks more evenly. When I sliced mine, they were still pink on the inside, so I ended up adding them back to a separate pan to cook longer. I added extra red pepper flakes at the end just to add a little more heat.**
 
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I hope everyone has a great day! And thanks for the feedback (per Facebook) on my post from yesterday...sounds like lots of y'all can relate to the crazy thoughts that pop into our heads throughout the day! ;)