Casarecce pasta loaded with fresh broccolini and Italian sausage makes an easy and delicious weeknight meal. A simple and comforting one-pot pasta dish that’s ready in about 30 minutes.
Can we all just agree that there’s nothing better than a big delicious bowl of pasta any night of the week? Ok, glad that’s settled. If this recipe caught your eye, you will definitely want to check out these easy pasta recipes on my blog – Pappardelle with Mushrooms and Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce, Farmer’s Market Green Pasta, Arugula Pesto Pasta and Ravioli with Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta.
Quick and easy pasta dishes are always in the rotation, and this is one of my favorites.
To keep it on the healthier side, this recipe is packed with extra broccolini and goes lighter on the pasta and sausage. Everyone will be happily eating a proper serving of vegetables and this popular pasta recipe will quickly become a family favorite!
Ingredients and Substitutions
This broccolini and sausage pasta has so much flavor and comes together easily with just a few simple ingredients!
- Casarecce Pasta – type of pasta is the perfect shape for this recipe. It’s ideal for pairing with chunky ingredients. If you can’t find casarecce in the pasta aisle, any short pasta noodles like fusilli, penne or farfalle will make a great substitution.
- Italian Sausage – you can use spicy or mild. I like to use a mix of both and let everyone add extra red pepper flakes to taste. You can also substitute chicken or turkey Italian sausage. Whatever you go with, it’s best if you can buy it bulk or remove it from the casing.
- Broccolini – broccolini is a cross-breed of broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It’s tender, mild and sweet with long stems. You can substitute with baby broccoli and follow the same instructions or use regular broccoli with the thick stalks removed and cut into small bite-sized florets.
- Garlic – LOTS of fresh garlic here. This is the kind of recipe where you can follow your heart.
- Peccorino Romano Cheese – slightly softer and brighter than parmesan with a sharp saltiness, it pairs perfectly with this dish. Parmesan is an excellent substitute.
- Lemon – a little bit of zest for some pop.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – for heat.
- White Wine – totally optional but I recommend adding a splash of whatever you’re drinking. If you want to keep it wine free, add a splash of chicken stock.
- Pasta Water – a non-negotiable. DO NOT FORGET to reserve the pasta water, it’s a critical ingredient in making sure the pasta sauce comes together.
How to Make this One-Pot Casarecce Pasta
- Step 1 – Cook the casarecce according to package directions, just two minutes shy of al dente.
- Step 2 – Add the broccolini to the pasta and cook for one more minute. Reserve 2-3 cups of pasta water before draining the pasta and broccolini.
- Step 3 – On medium heat, add olive oil to the empty pot and brown Italian sausage. Add in minced garlic, cook for a bit and then deglaze with white wine or chicken broth.
- Step 4 – Add the drained pasta and broccolini back into the pot and on medium-low heat, toss in cheese and lemon zest and stir in pasta water until everything comes together and creates a glossy, light sauce. Top with red pepper flakes and extra grated cheese and enjoy! Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.
What to Serve with Broccolini and Sausage Pasta
This one-pot wonder is a complete meal in itself. That’s why I love it so much! Lots of fresh vegetables, some protein and carbs, you really don’t need anything else. If you’re looking to dress it up a bit for company or a larger meal, I would go with some good crusty bread and my Greek Yogurt Caesar Salad with Parmesan Panko Crunch.
One-pot Casarecce Pasta with Broccolini and Italian Sausage
- 12 oz casarecce pasta
- 1.5 pounds broccolini see post for substitutions
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage spicy or mild
- 6-8 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 cup finely grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1-2 cups reserved pasta water
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- Trim bottom half inch from broccolini stems and cut larger pieces lengthwise in half.
- Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Cook casarecce pasta according to package directions, 2 minutes shy of al dente.
- Add broccolini to pasta in boiling water and cook for one minute until bright green and tender crisp.
- Reserve a few cups of pasta water and drain pasta and broccolini.
- Return pot to the heat on medium high and add olive oil. Add in ground Italian sausage and cook until browned and cooked through.
- Add in minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook for an additional minute. (see note for omitting wine)
- Turn the heat down to medium low and add the casarecce and broccolini back into the pot. Stir in cheese and lemon zest and one cup of reserved pasta water.
- Add ½ cup to one full cup of pasta water a little at a time until the pasta is coated in a light and glossy sauce, cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Serve in big bowls topped with more cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.