Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe is one of our favorite pasta dinners. This is a one dish meal that has it all – your pasta, protein and vegetable all in one bowl!
Everybody loves pasta night, including our family.
There’s so many pasta dishes that are favorites of ours, ranging from ultra-cheesy and creamy to more healthy pasta meals. One thing that is usually included in our pasta dishes is some form of meat. Chicken, ground beef, ham, bacon or sausage like in this Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe recipe. We’re looking for pasta dinners that have meat. To us, the meat is what makes the meal!
Using Johnsonville Italian Sausage as an add-in to this pasta dish is a no brainer. Johnsonville sausage already has all the flavors and spices right in the sausage that you need to make average dinners turn into amazing dinners. Then with the addition of broccoli rabe and some parmesan cheese…you’ve got a meal that will knock them over!
And what could make your pasta dinner more authentically Italian than adding in Italian sausage! Sausage wins the vote for me.
This dish might seem complicated but it only has a few steps, and the final dinner is so amazing it tastes just like it came out of a restaurant kitchen. And I can promise that you don’t have to be a restaurant chef to make this, if I can do it, you totally can, you just need a few ingredients to get started…
So grab a big pot of water and get it boiling for the pasta.
I use a time saver here and save the water I boiled the pasta in to cook the broccoli rabe. All you need to do is scoop out the pasta with a small Spider Strainer (we use that one from Amazon) or a slotted spoon when it’s done and let it finish draining in a colander.
The bring the water back to a boil, add in the broccoli rabe for a few minuets then add it to a bowl of ice water so it doesn’t overcook…you’re almost there now.
While the pasta and broccoli rabe are going on the stove, you can brown the sausage in a large skillet, then remove it to a paper towel lined plate when it’s done.
In the same skillet, add a few cloves of crushed garlic, cook for a minute then add in the broccoli rabe, a diced tomato and crushed red pepper flakes.
Cook that for 2-3 minutes, then add the sausage and drained pasta back to the pan along with a little of the reserved water from the pasta and parmesan cheese. The water from the pasta helps to create the sauce for this dish so don’t forget to save a cup or so before you drain the pot.
Am I right? If you ordered this Rigatoni with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe at a restaurant you would not be disappointed. At all. It’s so full of flavor from the sausage and fresh ingredients you’ll be looking for your second bowl in no time.
Another great thing about cooking at home – you get seconds!
- 1 (12 oz.) package Johnsonville Italian Sausage, hot or mild
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb. rigatoni
- 1 head of broccoli rabe
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot with at least 6 quarts of water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons of salt and then drop in the rigatoni.
- Cook according to the package directions.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then scoop out the pasta with a small strainer or a ladle and place in a colander to drain.
- Bring the pot of water back to a boil and then add in the broccoli rabe.
- Cook for 2 minutes, then drain and place the broccoli rabe into a large bowl of ice water.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Brown the sausage, breaking up with a spoon as you go until completely browned.
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add the crushed garlic to the same skillet and cook for 1 minute, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the broccoli rabe, tomatoes and red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sausage, pasta and parmesan cheese to the skillet, stir to combine, then pour in the reserved pasta water a little at a time to make the sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville . The opinions and text are all mine.