Linguine With Sausage and Broccoli

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In a low voice he whispered, “I make a mean pasta.”  A guy I dated said this statement so confidently, so self-assuredly and in a manner that almost made me gag.  We were already having fundamental problems within the first month of seeing each other.  He was a successful, good-looking egomaniac, and I was lonely.  I was 29 and living in a new city where not knowing many people had its disadvantages.  So when “Nameless” started pursuing me, I responded.  My gut said that he was trouble.  But I kept coming back for the food.  Among other things…

Linguine with sausage and broccoli - thanks "nameless" and the folks at Food 52 for the inspiration!

I was reminded of his fantastic pasta dish while perusing around on Food 52:  pasta with sausage and broccoli.  The sauce appears nonexistent to the naked eye, but the flavor is incredibly savory.  “Nameless” prepared something similar.  Now that I’m older, wiser, healthier and writing a blog called Cook This…Get Laid, I’ve recreated it into one that you can use any time.  (Mine is with gluten-free pasta, this kind does better things to your insides than traditional wheat pasta.)

“Nameless” made a few other dishes, and I ate those too.  But every time I came for a visit, I just knew he was with the wrong guy for me.  He spoke in third-person, talked about his life nonstop, kept talking about how important he was at his job, wanted to know what I thought of him, rarely stopped to listen to the person in front of him – are you seeing a pattern?  Are you taking notes about all of this?  Good.  (RECAP: be interested in her and cook for her – it’ll do wonders for the good guys AND the underwear hoarding douchebags.)  And if you’re wondering why I was even with this guy – it was the food.  He was a damned good cook.  Among other things…

ANOTHER tip for my male readers:  If you have a secret collection of used women’s panties, make sure there is no chance that your current conquest can stumble across it accidentally.  Like when she’s randomly looking for a towel pre-shower.  Such a discovery can instantly unravel all the magic your cooking created.  I’m just sayin.’

Linguine With Sausage & Broccoli

  • 1 pound Italian chicken sausage – hot, sweet or both! The Al Fresco brand makes a good one
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 quarter onion, chopped
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (low sodium or homemade)
  • 1 pound gluten-free linguine
  • 1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan to your taste

Cut right into the casings/cover to remove the sausage from its shell, and break into small chunks. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy pan with high sides over medium-high heat. When it starts to smoke, add sausage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned – about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and keep warm on a plate.

Reduce the heat to low-medium and add the onion to the pan.  Add the thyme leaves.  Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the garlic and keep cooking until the garlic is softened and fragrant (do not burn it).  Pour in the wine, then scrape and stir those tasty brown bits off the bottom of the pan, keep scraping and stirring – that’s where ALL the flavor is.  Reduce the wine by about two thirds, then add the chicken broth and return the sauce to a boil.  Reduce until the sauce is dark and somewhat syrupy, 7 to 10 minutes.

While the sauce is reducing, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Remove the sauce from the heat while you cook the pasta. Once the water is boiling rapidly, add the linguine and cook until al dente.  Brown rice pasta is tricky – do not cook it a second more than 10 minutes or you’ve got mush.  Set a timer, all phones have them these days.  About 8 minutes in, add the broccoli and cook it until just barely tender, a minute or two.  Once the pasta is done, the broccoli should be too.  Just look for a bright green color in the broccoli, and scoop it out with a slotted spoon.

Reserve a cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and set over medium-low heat.  Fold gently to distribute, and then add the butter and a little of the pasta water, tossing to coat.  Add the reserved sausage, broccoli and Parmesan and toss again gently, adding enough pasta water to make the sauce silky but not watery.  Taste for seasoning and add salt if necessary. Serve immediately, passing the Parmesan at the table.

Keep up the amazing work Food 52!

Shopping List:

  1. Italian sausage, (hot, sweet or both – your preference)
  2. Olive oil (although you should have some extra virgin olive oil in your pantry at all times)
  3. Fresh garlic
  4. Dry white wine (don’t use old wine, if it sits and turns bad – you’ll taste that awful flavor in your food)
  5. Chicken stock (low sodium, and if you make your own – then you are well on your way!)
  6. 1 pound gluten-free linguine/spaghetti
  7. 2 heads of fresh broccoli florets
  8. Fresh thyme leaves
  9. Butter
  10. Parmesan buy it UN-shredded, it is so much better when you grate it fresh!


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About Mona

I'm a food writer and home cook that loves to talk about healthy food and romance.
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4 Responses to Linguine With Sausage and Broccoli

  1. Noreen Nisker says:

    Love your comments and recipes, Mona. Please include me in your subscription list.

  2. Yvonne says:

    OMG Mona…you are funny! I will enjoy reading all of your posts!

  3. Ohh, Mona, PREACH!

    I am chuckling regarding: (been there, done that, found the undies. Eww!)
    ANOTHER tip for my male readers: If you have a secret collection of used women’s panties, make sure there is no chance that your current conquest can stumble across it accidentally. Like when she’s randomly looking for a towel pre-shower. Such a discovery can instantly unravel all the magic your cooking created. I’m just sayin.’

    • Mona says:

      I realize it’s ALOT of information, but I had to share. I’m even happier that you appreciate it!