Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 2 cups pasta and 1 Tbsp. cheese)Author: Ann Taylor Pittman
Chickpea Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage
prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins
This is one of those fallback recipes you can count on when you have little time to cook but want something really good, really comforting, and really easy. My hubs said it felt creamy and indulgent, but it’s actually quite light at only about 400 calories. The serving size is large, too (2 cups!), and all that fiber (13 grams!) will fill you right on up. A good bit of the fiber comes from the chickpea pasta, which I adore; if you sub traditional pasta, the fiber will go down considerably. I love the bite of broccoli rabe—and, luckily, so do my kids—but if you’re not a fan of its bitter edge, you can sub broccolini or broccoli.
8 oz. sweet Italian sausage
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced white or yellow onion
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 lb. broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed
8 oz. uncooked chickpea pasta—rigatoni, penne, cavatappi, or rotini
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
Bring a large pot of water (such as a Dutch oven or small stockpot) to a boil.
While water comes to a boil, heat a large skillet (not nonstick) over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook, stirring frequently to crumble, until browned and cooked through (about 6 minutes). Remove sausage from pan, reserving drippings.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add oil to drippings in pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and red pepper to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft (about 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, add broccoli rabe to boiling water; cook 2 minutes. Remove from water with tongs (reserving boiling water), place in a colander, and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well; cut into 2-inch pieces. Add pasta to boiling water; cook until al dente (about 8 minutes). Be careful not to overcook, as chickpea pasta falls apart when cooked too long. Reserve 1 1/4 cups pasta water; drain pasta.
Add garlic to onion mixture in pan; cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 3/4 cup pasta water and salt. Add pasta, sausage, and broccoli rabe; stir very gently to combine. Stir in additional pasta water as needed to form the sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.