The only way I can get Madison to eat broccoli is if I make pasta and broccoli, a dish my whole family loves. Some nights I add Italian chicken sausage and it’s always a crowd pleaser, my husband even goes back for seconds. I cook the pasta and broccoli and the same time all in the same pot, and which creates a pesto-like broccoli sauce the kids can’t pick out (trust me, it’s so good!).
But what I really love about this dish is that it’s ready in less than 20 minutes, and leftovers make an easy lunch for Madison which I pack in her thermos. Win, win! I personally like to add some crushed red pepper flakes to my bowl, up to you! What’s your go-to weeknight dinner the whole family enjoys?
Orecchiette Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli
Servings: 8 • Size: 1 1/2 cups • Weight Watcher Points+: 8 pt
Calories: 284 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 37 g • Fiber: 4 g • Protein: 17 g • Sugar: 2 g
Sodium: 321 mg • Cholest: 2 mg
- 14 oz package Italian chicken sausage, casing removed
- 12 oz uncooked pasta (or brown rice or quinoa pasta for gluten-free)
- 6 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets, no stems (16 oz)
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile heat a large nonstick skillet and brown the sausage over medium-high, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon until browned, 5 to 7 minutes; remove from heat.
When the water boils, add the pasta and bring back to a boil, when the water is boiling, add broccoli and cook according to pasta instructions for al dente. When pasta is almost done cooking, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain pasta and broccoli.
Return the pot to the stove and set heat to high; add 1 tbsp olive oil, when hot, add garlic. Cook until golden, about 1 minute, reduce flame to low and add pasta back to the pot with the sausage.
Mix well, add remaining olive oil, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste mixing well and smashing any large pieces of broccoli to break up.
Add 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water and mix well adding more if needed.
Serve in pasta bowls with additional grated cheese on the side, if desired.