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Rigatoni with Broccoli, Lemon, and Sausage
Rigatoni with Broccoli, Lemon, and Sausage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb rigatoni or other short pasta
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into 1 inch florets
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  1. In an 8 quart pot, bring 4 quarts of generously salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, crush the fennel seed with a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or in a plastic bag with a heavy pan. They should be somewhat crushed but not a powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large dutch oven or deep skillet over medium high heat, add your olive oil. Add the sausage, breaking up into dime sized pieces with a spatula as you cook, stirring every minute or so. Cook the sausage until it is browned and there are no longer any pink pieces when you cut them. Use a slotted spoon to remove the sausage to a bowl, leaving the fat behind. In the same pot, over medium high heat, add your onion, stirring and cooking until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, fennel, and red pepper flakes. Cook one additional minute. Remove from heat.
  3. In your boiling water, add your broccoli, and cook just 1-2 minutes, until the broccoli softens just slightly and is bright green. Remove using a slotted spoon, leaving the boiling water for the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente (about 10 minutes for rigatoni), reserving 1½ cups of pasta water.
  4. While the pasta cooks, add the broccoli to the pot with the onions and turn the heat to medium high again, cooking just 2 minutes while stirring. Taste the broccoli for salt, and add a few pinches if needed. Add the sausage back to the pan along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to coat and heat the sausage. Remove from heat while the pasta finishes cooking.
  5. Remember to reserve 1½ cups of pasta water. Drain the pasta into a colander and put the pasta immediately into the broccoli sauce, turning the burner to medium. Add the heavy cream, parmesan, and toss to coat. Add about half the pasta water and stir. If it still looks dry, add a little more pasta water until the sauce is as desired. Serve immediately and top with extra grated parmesan.
Recipe by Tastemaker Blog at https://tastemakerblog.com/2020/05/14/rigatoni-with-broccoli-lemon-and-sausage/