I have been trying to figure out new ways to mix up my pasta game. While I have many favorite pasta dishes, as a food blogger I have been trying to innovate and develop some new recipes. I have also been trying to explore some new ingredients that I can incorporate. This is somewhat for the blog, but also because I feel like there are so many ingredients that I haven’t tried.
I like cream sauces for a base since they serve as a versatile flavor platform. One thing I had not tried before was using sausage with a cream sauce. For whatever reason, I tend to use sausage for red sauces and chicken for cream. This recipe was intended to change that. We were also aiming for a bit of a classic American flavor. I used sage, lemon, and shallot to really go for those flavor.
The cream sauce base is somewhat stolen from one of my other recipes. I mean, why mess with something that you know works? It provides a good creamy flavor and incorporates a fresh lemony not that really comes through.
I would be careful well selecting your sausage, in hindsight I would use a regular Italian sausage. And, while I said I wanted to use something other than chicken, I think chicken sausage would have been perfect. We picked up some “Tuscan” sausage which apparently had some bell peppers in it. Definitely not the ideal flavor.
For the new ingredient, I wanted to try a new green. I like broccoli in pasta, so I thought why not try broccoli rabe? I will say that its a little on the bitter side if you do nothing to it. You can either blanch it first or saute it a bit then throw some acid on it (citrus or wine or even both) to cut that flavor. We learned this lesson because we threw a few pieces in after doing the acid/deglaze and they did not loose that bitterness.
Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Pasta
- 1 Lb Italian Sausage pork or chicken either slice or crumble
- 1 Lb Pasta style of choice
- 1 Cup Broccoli Rabe
- 1.5 Tbs Butter
- 1 Lemon 4-5 slices with remainder juiced
- 1/3 Cup White Wine
- 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
- 3/4 Cup Half & Half
- 1 Shallot finely diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1/2 Tsp Sage minced
- 1/2 Tsp Red Pepper Flake
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- Cook pasta per package instructions. Start the pasta when you remove the sausage.
- Heat the butter over a mid-medium-high heat in a skillet or saute pan.
- Cook the shallot first until light golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sausage and cook through, about 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the sausage and set aside.
- Add the garlic, pepper flake, lemon slices, sage, and broccoli rabe to the pan, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and lemon juice and allow to reduce for another ~2 minutes.
- Add the cream and half & half, bring to a simmer, and then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer while the pasta finishes.
- Add the sausage back in with the pasta and toss to combine.