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Dinner tonight! Pasta with broccoli and Italian sausage

June 26, 2012 | 10:52 am

Pastairfankhan
It doesn't get much easier than pasta for dinner. This recipe, from Food editor Russ Parsons, is a simple combination of broccoli, fresh Italian sausage and dried pasta and comes together in less than 30 minutes. Serve with a shaving of pecorino Romano, and you've got dinner!

For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here. Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.

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Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Pasta with broccoli and Italian sausage

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

1 head broccoli (about 3/4 pound)

2 links fresh Italian sausage ( 1/4 to 1/2 pound)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound dried short pasta, such as fusilli, penne or ziti; or long dried pasta such as spaghetti

Salt, pepper

1 ounce pecorino Romano cheese

1. Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil. While the water is heating, clean the broccoli: Separate the florets from the stems and set them aside. Remove the tough peel of the stems with a paring knife or vegetable peeler, then cut the stems into half-inch cubes. Remove the casings from the sausage.

2. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and crumble the sausage meat into the oil, flattening each piece slightly so it will brown better. Cook until the sausage browns and crisps. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic turns pale brown, about 5 minutes. Do not let the garlic scorch; if it begins to brown, remove the pan from the heat.

3. Add the pasta and the diced broccoli stems to the boiling water and cook 6 to 7 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and cook until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes total. Scoop out the pasta and broccoli and drain; keep the water at a boil.

4. Place the skillet over high heat and add the drained broccoli and pasta to the sausage and garlic. Add one-half cup boiling water from the pasta pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the water mostly boils away, about 1½ to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and a good grinding of black pepper.

5. Divide the pasta evenly among 6 warmed pasta plates and shave pecorino Romano over the top with a vegetable peeler.

Each serving: 406 calories; 15 grams protein; 62 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 12 mg. cholesterol; 263 mg. sodium.

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