We had Brian’s 13-year old son, Rob, as a last minute dinner guest tonight so our original plans to go out got scratched and I was left looking for a dinner idea that was Saturday-night worthy (easy, comforting, a little naughty) but also somewhat nutritious. When the kids spend the weekends with us I really try to make an effort to make sure they have good, home-cooked food with actual vegetables involved. It just so happens that Rob is a huge, huge, huge, broccoli fan, which tends to make my job pretty easy. I had just pinned this recipe this week so it was still pretty fresh in my head. I love that it includes “grown-up” ingredients such as hot italian sausage and anchovies (if you think you don’t like anchovies, please keep reading…if a 13-year old boy goes back for seconds, all hope is not lost), but also reads as super kid-friendly. Pasta. Broccoli (sub any veggie you/your kid likes). Sausage. Lemony and garlicky sauce. Did I tell anyone there were anchovies in it? Nope. Did everyone gobble it? Yup. Boom.
Lemony Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage
Just the Tip / Inspired by Emeril & Martha
What I used:
- 12 oz rigatoni
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 4 anchovy fillets, minced
- 1 pound hot (or sweet) Italian sausage, casings removed
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for serving
What I did:
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, salt water generously, and cook pasta according to package instructions. In last 2 minutes of cooking, add broccoli to the water. Reserve 1 cup pasta water before you drain the pasta and broccoli.
- Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Break the sausage meat up in the pan with a wooden spoon. If the sausage in lean and the pan is too dry, drizzle in a little olive oil. Saute sausage until browned and cooked through.
- While the pasta is cooking and the sausage is browning, make the “sauce”. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and anchovies. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Once the sausage is cooked and the pasta/broccoli is ready to be drained, drain it and add it to the pan with the sausage. Pour the sauce over everything, along with the reserved starchy cooking water, and toss together over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the parmesan and season with a little more black pepper and serve.