Category: Pasta with Sausage
Difficulty: Easy but long cooking time
This recipe is a simple and straightforward family recipe that we make often. We like to use bucatini (perciatelli) because everyone enjoys the thick chewy texture. As you toss the bucatini the broccoli will break up slightly, which is a good thing, because it then flavors all the pasta. Don’t be tempted to use more chile as the amount specified is how an Italian would spice it. Using crispy sautéed bread crumbs instead of parmigiano cheese for sprinkling on afterwards is typical of the south of Italy, where in times past poor people couldn’t afford expensive cheese.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Preparation Time: 55 minutes
1 pound broccoli, stem portion diced
1 pound hot or mild Italian sausage, casing removed, meat crumbled
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound bucatini (perciatelli)
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, cooked in 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden and crispy
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, salt abundantly, then cook the broccoli until tender and bright green, 7 minutes. Drain immediately and run under cold water to stop its cooking. Save the water to cook the pasta in.
2. In a skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until it turns color, about 20 minutes. If there is a lot of fat remove it with a spoon. Add the garlic, parsley, chile, and olive oil to the sausage and cook until sizzling, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Add the cooked broccoli and cook for 8 minutes, stirring.
3. Meanwhile, add enough water to the pot to reach about 6 quarts, then bring to a rolling boil over high heat, salt abundantly with up to 1/2 cup of salt, then add the pasta in handfuls. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick together, until al dente. Drain without rinsing. Transfer the pasta to a bowl and toss with the sausage and broccoli. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs and serve.