Whole Wheat Penne with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe
Photo: Thinkstock
The rich flavors of sausage and broccoli rabe stand up beautifully to the earthy taste of whole wheat pasta. Broccoli rabe is one of my favorite vegetables, but it has a bitter taste that isn't for everyone. Feel free to substitute regular broccoli in this recipe if you prefer.

Serves 4


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound), washed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3/4 pound whole wheat penne
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3/4 pound Italian-style poultry sausage
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the broccoli rabe in a large microwaveable dish with 1 tablespoon of water. Cover tightly and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Spread the pine nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until they are fragrant and golden brown.

Set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. When boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box. Drain. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over a medium flame. Add the sausage and cook for 5 or 6 minutes, until brown. Remove the sausage from the skillet and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet and sauté the garlic until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli rabe and sliced sausage, and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on a low heat until pasta is ready.

Combine the drained pasta with the sausage-broccoli rabe mixture and the pine nuts in a large bowl or pot. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Per serving:
Calories: 612
Fat: 18.6 g
Protein: 30 g
Carbs: 81 g
Fiber: 5.9 g
Cholesterol: 43 mg
Sodium: 885 mg

From Small Changes, Big Results, Revised and Updated (Crown) by Ellie Krieger.

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