Broccoli Rabe Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage (Zucchini Noodles)

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Seeing the broccoli rabe today at the grocery market, I knew there was no choice but to make a pasta with spicy Italian sausage and those beautiful leafy greens. I’m a big spicy-food lover and one dish I missed most during my 2008-early 2013 no-meat stint was my grandfather’s spicy sausage and peppers…. Hope you like it spicy! The only thing this dish is missing? A great glass of red. Mmm….

This classic Italian favorite can be a bit indulgent (the fat of the sausage, the carbs in the pasta). Luckily, we have the spiralizer to at least take out most of the carbs and calories! The spicy flavor pairs perfectly with the lightness of the zucchini noodles and the bitterness of the b-rabe. If you’re afraid of broccoli rabe because of its bitterness, fear not….. peel the skin of the stems (just use a knife or vegetable peeler to get it started at the bottom) and that helps take out bitterness.

Another tip… don’t peel your zucchini! Leaving the skin on this dish gives it a stronger al dente pappardelle texture. Plus, there are more nutrients in the skin!

Actually, I made a slimmer version of this dish for myself, even though I photographed the spicy sausage… what a trickster I am! I used spicy Italian chicken sausage – it’s lower in fat and calorie content and thus, easier on the hips. Just a little Inspiralized tip for those of you trying to fit into those skinny jeans or have a six-pack.

Most importantly, this is a one-pot dish that takes NO time at all to make! I’d say all in…. less than 15 minutes. It’s hard to beat that, y’all (sorry – the y’alls will come out every once in a while – I went to college in North Carolina and consequently have a bit of a drawwwwwl – go Deacs!)

Broccoli Rabe Pasta and Spicy Italian Sausage (Zucchini Noodles)

Serving size: 2
Time to prepare: 5 minutes
Time to cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchinis, Blade A
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 spicy Italian sausage links (or chicken sausage!)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1 tbsp juice from a lemon (optional)
  • pinch of oregano flakes
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Directions

Prepare your broccoli rabe. Rinse the leafs and pat dry. Cut off most of the stems (the thickest parts). Pull off some skin of the stems, using a peeler. Peel until you hit the leaves. Set aside.

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Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Slice the sausage into 1/2 inch chunks (or remove from caseing and crumble – whatever you prefer) and place into skillet along with the garlic and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of oregano. Cook for about 3 minutes, flipping over to cook both sides.

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Push the sausage to the side and add the broccoli rabe and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Stir and cook for about 1 minute and then add in the chicken broth, mixing the sausage and broccoli rabe together. Cook until reduced and broccoli rabe is mostly wilted. Then, add in zucchini noodles. Cook for about 2 minutes or until noodles begin to soften.

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Stir in Pecorino Romano cheese and lemon juice (optional) and combine thoroughly. Plate onto dishes and enjoy!

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