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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