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Broccoli pasta


INGREDIENTS
1 large head of broccoli (1¼–1½ pounds), cut into florets, stalk peeled and chopped into ½" pieces
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, smashed
12 ounces fresh Italian sausage (about 3 links), casings removed
Crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces orecchiette
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1½ ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving



















METHODS
1. Cook broccoli in a large pot of salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a colander and let cool (save pot of water for cooking pasta). Chop broccoli into small pieces; set aside.

2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic, shaking skillet occasionally, until it starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Cook sausage and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, breaking up meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 6–8 minutes.

3. Bring reserved pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until barely al dente, about 9 minutes (set a timer for 3 minutes less than the package instructions; it will cook more in the skillet)

4. Meanwhile, ladle about ½ cup pasta cooking liquid from pot into skillet with sausage and add garlic and blanched broccoli. Keep mixture at a low simmer, stirring often and mashing with a potato masher to break up sausage even more, until pasta is finished cooking.

5. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer pasta to skillet, then ladle in ½ cup pasta water. Cook, stirring, until pasta absorbs most of the liquid and is just al dente, about 4 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted, then transfer pasta to a large bowl. Gradually add 1½ oz. Parmesan, tossing constantly until you have a glossy, emulsified sauce.

6. Serve pasta topped with more Parmesan and red pepper flakes and a drizzle of oil.

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