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This Pasta with Broccoli, Sausage, and Lemon is the perfect easy pasta dish. It is a hearty pasta dish without feeling heavy. I top it with some crispy, lemony panko bread crumbs for a little crunch!
What type of pasta should I use for this recipe?
I love using a fun short pasta for this recipe, such as gigli! I recommend the delicious and fresh pastas from Santa Cruz Pasta Factory, a local family-owned company. You can order from the Santa Cruz Pasta Factory online here.
What type of sausage do you recommend?
I recommend using a mild, good-quality Italian sausage for this recipe. Neto's Sausage makes my absolute favorite Italian sausage! They fill theirs with tons of herbs and garlic and it's so delicious. You can check out Neto's Sausage and order them online here.
How can I prepare this in advance?
You can cook the sausage and onion mixture up to the day before and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To continue with cooking, reheat the mixture on the stovetop and continue with the recipe.
The broccoli could be cooked up to the morning of. If you do this, after blanching the broccoli, immediately submerge the broccoli in an ice bath until fully cool (about 5 minutes). Drain the broccoli, pat it dry, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can later cook the pasta with fresh, salted water.
The lemony panko breadcrumbs can be made up the the day before. Once cooled completely, store them in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
What should I serve Pasta with Broccoli, Sausage, and Lemon with?
I love that this dish is hearty enough on it's own but also sneaks in veggies-- it is perfect for the whole family! You could serve it with Caesar Salad and a light cocktail, such as a Cucumber Elderflower Smash.
If you make this Pasta with Broccoli, Sausage, and Lemon, I'd love to know what you think in the comments below!
Pasta with Broccoli, Sausage, and Lemon
- 1 lb Italian sausage, such as Neto's sausage (casing removed)
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- Kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into bit sized pieces
- 1 lb pasta, such as Gigli from Santa Cruz Pasta Factory
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Heat a large skillet (preferably non-stick) on medium heat. Add the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break it up. Cook, stirring occassionally, until slightly brown on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, about 5-8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Carefully remove excess grease from the pan, leaving a little behind.
- To the same pan, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and cook until the onions are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Add the lemon juice and scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Return the sausage to the pan.
- Meanwhile, add the broccoli florets to the boiling water. Boil until the broccoli is just tender, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the cooked broccoli directly from the water to the pan with the sausage.
- Add the pasta to the remaining boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sausage and broccoli mixture.
- Add the parmesan cheese to the pasta. Stir, adding a few tablespoons of reserved pasta water at a time, until you reach a silky texture.
- To make the lemon breadcrumbs, heat the olive oil on medium heat in a small pan. Add the breadcrumbs and stir frequently until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest.
- Serve the pasta immediately with lemon breadcrumbs on top.