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budget meals: pasta with roasted broccoli + chicken sausage

  • Author: The Clever Carrot
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 4


  • 1 lb. fusili pasta
  • 1 lb. good quality chicken sausage, Italian-style*
  • 10 c. of broccoli, including the stalk (about 2 bunches)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lemons (1 zested)
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • parmesan cheese, to taste

* I use an Italian-style chicken sausage with fennel and parsley. This can be difficult to find sometimes as the pork variety is more common. To create the same flavors with regular chicken sausage, add 2 tbsp. toasted fennel seeds to a mortar + pestal. Bash it up with some salt until coarse. Sprinkle over the broccoli before roasting. This will give it that Italian-style taste.


  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grab 2 rimmed baking sheets and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet (with a lid), warm 1 tsp. of olive oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage with a small splash of water. Place the lid on and cook for about 10 minutes. Using tongs, flip the sausage over and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so, covered. At this point, the sausage should be cooked through in the center. Now, remove the lid and cook until all of the moisture has evaporated and the sausage is a deep, golden brown. Transfer to a cutting board to rest for about 5 minutes. Slice into bite-sized pieces and set aside (don’t pick!).
  3. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy cooking liquid before draining. *See note below.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli crown into florets. For the stalk, remove about 1-inch off the base and discard. Peel away the fiberous outer skin with a vegetable peeler. Cut into 2-inch sticks, about the same width as the pasta.
  5. Add all of the broccoli to a large bowl.
  6. Finely mince the garlic, or grate it using a microplane (or garlic press).
  7. Add the garlic to the broccoli and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.
  8. Tip the broccoli out onto the prepared baking trays. Roast for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  9. When the pasta is ready, drain and then add back to the pot.
  10. Zest 1 lemon directly over the pasta. Cut that same lemon in half and add all of the juice to the pot. Drizzle with olive oil and add about 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water; stir well. Add more water if it seems a bit dry.
  11. Add the roasted broccoli and sausage.
  12. Taste the pasta and add extra lemon juice, olive oil, and salt + pepper if necessary.
  13. Garnish with parmesan cheese to taste.


* Cooking the pasta with only 2 quarts of water will make the liquid extra starchy, which is what you want to create a silky sauce.