Penne with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Recipe -
Penne with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Recipe
  • READY IN 30 mins

Penne with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

Recipe by  

"Hot Italian sausage with broccoli rabe sauteed and served over penne. You'll love this dish so much and so will your family. Every time I make it I have to double the recipe."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    30 mins


  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink, reserving 1/2 cup of the water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir the sausage pieces, garlic, and red pepper flakes in the hot pan until the sausage is no longer pink on the outside, about 4 minutes. Stir in the broccoli rabe and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Pour in the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta boiling water. Cover, and cook until the sausage is no longer pink in the center and the broccoli rabe is tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Stir the cooked pasta, broccoli rabe, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese together until evenly mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper to serve.
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  • Cook's Note
  • Soak broccoli rabe with leaves down in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes while you prepare everything else. You can either cut just the tips of the broccoli rabe or chop it into large pieces. You can adjust the heat with the crushed red pepper flakes. This can also work with mild sausage or turkey sausage. Enjoy!

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jun 27, 2011

Spicy lovers unite! Wow, is this good! I'm so glad I stumbled across this recipe! The only changes I made were to use broccolini instead of broccoli rabe (since my market didn't have any today) and I cut down on the crushed red pepper to about 2 tsp instead of 1 tbsp. It was still plenty spicy and delicious! I also used whole wheat penne and half grated/half shredded parmesan. Next time I probably won't cook up a full box of pasta, because I didn't end up using all of it. I think 2/3 of a box suits our tastes. Hubby warned me before dinner that he wasn't hungry, so he only had me dish up a small portion. Well guess who went back for seconds and thirds! :) A definite keeper!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 13, 2012

I made this recipe for dinner tonight and it was WAY too spicy for me, despite using mild Italian sausage and reducing the red pepper flakes to 2 teaspoons rather than a tablespoon (as suggested by previous posters). The heat from the red pepper flakes overwhelmed the other flavors in the dish in my opinion. However, my husband (who likes spicy food) loved the dish and is looking forward to the leftovers! I think spinach, kale or broccoli could easily be substituted for the broccoli rabe in this recipe if you adjusted the cooking times.

Aug 09, 2011

This is delicious, quick and easy! I couldn't find any broccoli rabe, so I just used regular broccoli. I followed another reviewers suggestion and only used 2 tsp of the red pepper flakes.. Perfect spicyness factor. For those who don't like spice I would suggest to skip the flakes and just use some diced red or green pepper... I have made this recipe a few times as stated, but when I made it today, I had some Alfredo sauce in the fridge.. I added some of that at the end of cooking (not much, just enough to coat it.. Maybe 1/4 or 1/3cup?) and it didn't change the flavor, but was really good! Just creamier/added to the sauce..any pasta noodle would work well (bowtie, elbow, fettucini, ect) a sprinkle of fresh parm ontop is a must!

Jul 29, 2011

very good dish but i did a few things different. I cooked the sausages longer than 4 minuets because they were still not done and i used rigatoni noodles. I also used more cheese since i love cheese. Overall this was a great dinner and lunch. I brought some to work with me the next day :)

Jan 25, 2014

I didn't use the reserved pasta water to cook the broccoli rabe sausage. Instead I used chicken broth, it takes some of the bitterness out of the broccoli rabe.

Jul 13, 2011

My husband and I loved it! Instead of rabe i just had normal Broccoli and it was delicious!!! I will be making this again!

Jul 05, 2012

I really liked this but a pasta like this needs a little fresh herbs! I added a bit of parsley and basil in the end. Really good! My kids are troopers in the spice department but a tablespoon of red pepper flakes would be way too much. Serve them at the table for people to add on their own.

Nov 01, 2011



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  • Calories
  • 498 kcal
  • 25%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 61.7 g
  • 20%
  • Cholesterol
  • 34 mg
  • 11%
  • Fat
  • 17.7 g
  • 27%
  • Fiber
  • 5.1 g
  • 20%
  • Protein
  • 24.8 g
  • 50%
  • Sodium
  • 733 mg
  • 29%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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