Meat and vegetables make this a one-dish meal, but crusty bread and a green salad dressed with a tangy mustard vinaigrette would be nice accompaniments.
- 10 to 12 ounces broccoli crowns, cut into 1/2-inch florets, excess stems discarded
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 pound sweet italian sausage, casings removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 pound dried orecchiette (may substitute penne pasta)
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
- 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- 3 scallions, both white and light green parts, sliced thin
Have ready a medium bowl of very cold water.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli until it softens to a tender crunch, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the bowl of cold water. Keep the water in the pot boiling.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until hot. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until it browns and is just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water. Drain the broccoli in a colander.
Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium-low, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the garlic. Season with salt to taste and cook, flipping the garlic slices occasionally, until they start to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the broccoli and sausage to the skillet, cooking until everything is heated through, about 1 minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and thyme, stirring to combine.
Finish cooking the pasta until it is just tender, about 10 minutes total, and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Increase the heat to high and toss well for 30 seconds. If the pasta appears dry, add some of the reserved pasta water as needed. Add the pepper, lemon juice, Parmigiano-Reggiano and scallions and stir to combine. Add more salt, pepper or lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately, sprinkled with more grated cheese.
Adapted from "The Best of Fine Cooking: 101 Quick and Delicious Recipes" magazine (Taunton Press).
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.