Stove-Top Broccoli and Sausage Pasta
Stove-Top Broccoli and Sausage Pasta is Easy and Quick
This is one of my old standby recipes when time is short or the day is hot. It's one tasty way to use fresh broccoli, and my husband loves to eat it. If you put it in a beautiful serving dish it's fit to set on the table for unexpected guests.
I usually buy a large package of Polish or other Smoked Sausage and keep it in the freezer. When I have fresh broccoli to use, I can have this on the table in about 45 minutes or less. It cooks on the stove, so I don't need to heat up the oven on hot days. It's a hearty meal on cooler days, as well.
Here's what you need to have on hand:
A bit of olive oil
I pound fully cooked Polish or similar sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
I medium bunch of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup sliced red onion, though white will do if you don't have red
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained (You can use two cups of fresh chopped tomatoes if you have them. )
1 T minced fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil
1 T minced fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley flakes
1 t sugar
3 cups cooked spiral pasta. (I used whole grain for this batch.)
Crumbled Feta cheese (optional)
All pictures in this recipe were taken by me.
Cutting the Polish Sausage
First slice the sausage into 1/4 inch slices
If it's frozen, be sure it's thawed before you start.
If you haven't already cooked the pasta, you should do this while you are slicing everything else so that it is ready to add at the end.
Next cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. - Here's what I do:
First I peel or pare off the touch outer layer from the stalks. I cut the stalks into slices about 1/4 inch thick and cut the head into the florets. This way I don't waste anything. We don't mind a bit eating the stalks.
Chop the onion. - Don't cry.
As you can see, I need a new cutting board here. This one is ancient and part of it broke off. I normally keep a separate board for slicing onions, since the onion smell seems to hang onto the board.
For the next step you will need a good solid skillet or large saucepan.
The pan I've used to cook this batch today is not what I normally use because I'm not at home. I normally use a heavy non-stick skillet for all my stove-top one-dish meals. I also like a glass cover so I can see what's happening without lifting it.
This skillet fills the bill. It's heavy to prevent sticking. It's large enough to handle any normal frying, braising, or simmering job. It's non-stick cooking surface is almost indestructible. That's really important because otherwise you have to keep replacing the pans when the surface gets scratched or starts to deteriorate. Better to buy one high-quality pan in the first place. This one has a limited lifetime warranty.
This skillet comes with a glass lid, so you don't have to go out and buy one for it. The lid also has a vent you can open and close so that if you want some evaporation to take place it can happen even with the lid on, but you can also keep the vent closed to keep any steam from escaping. I also like the fact that this pan is four inches deep. That means you can load it up and still be able to saute the ingredients and toss them around in the pan the way I do without spilling anythiing over the side. .
Next brown the sausage. - Pour a bit of olive oil into the pan first.
If you have a non-stick pan, you will only need about a teaspoon. If you have cast iron or stainless steel, I'd use a couple of tablespoons or enough for a thin covering of the pan's surface. Let the oil heat a bit and then add the sausage and brown to taste. As you can see, I like mine really brown because I think the taste is better that way. I'm also the type that likes to blacken my hot dogs a bit when I cook them over a fire. So get the sausage as brown as suits you. As the slices brown, I toss them around like a salad to make sure all sides get their turn to connect with the pan's surface.
When the sausage is brown enough to suit you, add the vegetables. - Toss them around until everything is well mixed with the sausage.
Keep tossing until the vegetables are tender-crisp. This is usually about the time the broccoli turns a very bright green. Then you know it's just right.
Traditional or Non-Stick Pan Interiors?
What sort of pan do you prefer to use in stove top cooking?
Now it's time to add the seasonings and tomatoes. - Stir in the sugar, basil, parsley and the can of tomatoes.
As you can see, I had fresh basil, but had to use dried parsley. Be sure and mix everything well while you turn the heat down to simmer.
When the heat is low enough so nothing will burn, cover the pot. - Simmer for about 10 minutes.
You might want to stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn. I used an electric stove here, and it takes it a bit of time for the temperature to get low. At home I use gas and the temperature changes much more quickly.
When you've finished simmering, add the cooked pasta. - I had cooked my pasta the night before, so it was cold.
Toss the pasta with everything else in the pot and increase the temperature to medium. Keep tossing until the pasta is heated through.
Put the Broccoli and Sausage Pasta into serving dish and you are finished.
Sprinkle with feta cheese if you like it. We enjoy that finishing touch.
Complete your meal with a salad and your favorite bread. I served this with the creamy cucumber salad pictured here. This also goes well with a big green salad or even a bean salad. We served it today with sourdough garlic cheese toast.
Feed it to your family. - It makes about six hearty servings.
We expect to get three meals out of this one recipe, since there are only two in our family. There was a lot left in the pot that did not fit in this serving dish.