Italian Sausage and Pasta
adapted from Joy of Cooking

The original recipe for this dish appears in the Joy of Cooking ("Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe"). However, we have adapted it, adding more vegetables and using easy-to-find pasta. This is one of my favorite meals!

This recipe is currently scaled to serve two hungry university students.


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • three or four cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • half a pound hot or mild Italian sausage
  • one large red or green pepper
  • one small zucchini
  • one small head broccoli
  • two good handfuls of short pasta
  • pecorino cheese

Heat the oil, garlic (finely minced) and pepper flakes in a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat. If you like more fire in your meals, you can double the quantity of pepper flakes. Keep in mind that if you use hot Italian sausages you may not need any pepper flakes in the sauce at all!

Remove the casings from the sausages and cut into small sections. Add the sausages to the oil once heated. Cook until brown all the way through. It will need to be stirred periodically to keep the garlic from burning, but other than that I usually just leave it with the wok lid on while cooking.

Meanwhile, boil some water (add salt and a little bit of olive oil) for the pasta. We usually use penne because it's about the right size, and it's something we already have. Joy of Cooking called for orecchiette but I have no idea what that is and my grocery store certainly doesn't carry it! In any case, penne seems to work well.

When the sausage is thoroughly cooked, add the vegetables (chopped into bite-size pieces). Stir-fry until tender, about 5 minutes or so. You should see the colour of the broccoli deepen when it's about ready. Drain the pasta and toss it with the sausage and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and top with pecorino cheese.

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Last modified: Tue Oct 19 22:29:14 PDT 2004