Pass the Pasta! Penne with Sausage and Broccoli

December 28, 2009

Looking for something nifty to make for supper during the dark days of winter? Something good enough for company? Pasta to the rescue and I don’t mean spaghetti and meatballs!

Right now winter greens like broccoli rape (“rah-pay”) and kale are good choices to pair with whole wheat pasta and sweet Italian sausage, not only for a delicious and different way to serve pasta, but for a really healthy and nutritionally balanced way as well. Whole wheat pasta has an earthy and nutty flavor and is absorbed much slower making you feel fuller faster without you asking for a second helping!

That will not only save calories but keep you fit as a fiddle as well. So brighten up the winter table with a steaming plate of pasta and melt the cold away.

Penne with Sausage and Broccoli Rape

Serves 4-6

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch broccoli rape, washed, stems trimmed and discarded; leaves coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 pound whole wheat penne
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute’ pan; add half the garlic and over medium heat saute the broccoli rape until it wilts. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. In the same pan add the remaining olive oil and onions and cook until they begin to wilt. Stir in the remaining garlic and sausage and cook until the sausage begins to brown. Raise the heat to high and add the wine, allow most of it to evaporate. Add the chicken broth and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the broccoli rape. Keep warm while the penne cook.

Cook the penne in 4 quarts of rapidly boiling water to which 1 tablespoon of salt has been added . Cook until the penne is al dente. Drain the penne, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water and add the penne and water to the sausage mixture. Raise the heat to medium and stir the ingredients together well. Add salt and a grinding of black pepper to taste. Transfer the penne to a serving platter; sprinkle the cheese over the top and serve.

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