Ever since I tried the homemade hot Italian pork sausage from the butcher at Whole Foods, I've been incorporating it into a number of different recipes. Anything you cook it with soaks up the spice and essentially eliminates the need for additional seasoning. Of all the experimenting I've done, nothing was easier and a better match for the hot sausage than a simple pasta dish with pappardelle egg noodles and broccoli -- which just so happens to be in season now. In 15 minutes you have a dinner for four and the only additional ingredient you'll need is some garlic, olive oil and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to finish it off.
Start by boiling the water for the pasta. In a separate pan, heat a little extra virgin olive oil, whole garlic cloves and cook the chopped sausage. 2-3 links is more than enough.
Once the sausage cooks for a few minutes, add chopped broccoli stems. Once the stems are at a desired softness / crunch, add the chopped heads. The stems take longer to cook than the heads so separate them in advance for best results.
Once the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan and cook for another minute or two. The broccoli heads and pappardelle egg noodles only need to cook for a few minutes - so try to time everything up just right.
Serve with plenty of cheese.
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About the authors
Michelle Zippelli is a Boston based hedonist who is committed to finding the best food that Boston has to offer. She has lived in Boston for 6 years and works in online marketing. Michelle loves meatballs, live music, exotic cheeses, Mexican food, spur of the moment dance parties, and all things pickled.
Jacki Morisi is a self-proclaimed bon vivant extraordinaire. A Boston native whose waking hours are exclusively focused on travel, music, food, and fare ... emphasis on food and fare. She's a firm believer that just because you're living on a young professional's budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste, and carries this mantra into each and every dining endeavor.