Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Penne with Italian Pork & Fennel Sausage, Brocolli and Parmesan

My boss at work comes from an Italian family, and is occasionally dropping hints at how to make a good pasta. One such recipe he mentioned was spaghetti with brocolli, a pasta simply tossed with olive oil, parmesan and small brocolli florettes. I stumbled across a more extravegant recipe in the Carmine's cookbook (Carmines is a famous old-school Italian restaurant in New York for those who don't know), which added Italian Pork sausages and a few other ingredients. So i thought i'd give it a go!

I was pleasantly surprised to find such a different tasting pasta dish to add to my repertoire. A good quality Italian sausage is key to this dish, so make sure you go to a reputable butcher or delicassen.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 450gm penne pasta
  • 350gm pork & fennel sausages
  • 1 medium head of brocolli, cut into 3cm florettes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Handful of basil, torn
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan + extra for serving
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp roasted breadcrumbs


Squeeze the sausage meat out of its casing and discard the casings

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat
Add the sausage and saute until beginning to brown

Add the garlic and continue to saute until the pork and garlic are well browned

Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil
Reduce the liquid by half

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions, but 4 minutes before the pasta is cooked, throw in the brocolli

Drain the brocolli and pasta together, retaining 1 cup of the cooking liquid

Return the brocolli and pasta to the pot and pour over the sauce
Add the basil, parmesan and parsley and stir through, adding enough cooking liquid to create a very light sauce (more of a stickiness than a sauce).
Add salt and pepper to taste
Serve sprinkled with breadcrumbs and extra parmesan to taste

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