Saturday, July 21, 2007

Penne with Broccoli and Sausage

The test of blogworthiness in a dish: we couldn't stop eating it. This is a lighter version of a dish they used to make at Carmine's restaurant in New York when I worked there in the mid-90s.

1 very small head broccoli, chopped into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 cloves fresh garlic, sliced thin
1/4 cup good olive oil
2 chicken or turkey sausages, sliced thickly on the bias (I used sun dried tomato chicken sausages this time)
1/2 cup canned chicken broth
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Chopped Italian parsley
Handful of roasted garlic cloves
1/2 box of penne or ziti

Set a pot of salted water to boil in a pot big enough to fit the pasta. Cook the pasta and broccoli. There are two ways to do this. Either set a bamboo steamer filled with broccoli over the pot in which the pasta is cooking (my preferred method) or add the broccoli in with the pasta when the pasta is about 4 minutes from being done. Either way, the broccoli should be cooked through but still firm enough that it won't turn to mush in the pan, and the pasta should be al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, brown the turkey sausage in a large saute pan over high heat, and when it is brown add the sliced garlic and cook just until the garlic is golden. Add red pepper flakes and salt, and de-glaze the pan with the chicken stock.

Once the pasta is cooked, combine all ingredients in the saute pan, adding parsley, roasted garlic cloves and a blizzard of good grated cheese. Taste for seasoning. I sometimes add in a little of the pasta cooking liquid if it isn't brothy enough.
Bill went back for thirds, and there was a Hieronymus-sized portion left over anyway.

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