Pasta with broccoli and sausage is a perfect dish to bring to the table for a Sunday lunch with the family. Although it looks like an elaborate dish, it is actually simple to make. I’m sure that as soon as your family and guests taste it, it will be a success! Chef Alba
Preheat oven to 350F. Use 1 tablespoon or more to oil the baking pan, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle it with a few tablespoons of grated cheese. (I always season the bottom of my pan for best flavor!)
Cooking the Onion and Sausage: In a large skillet on medium heat, add the two tablespoons olive oil and onion, cook until translucent. Add the ground sausage and cook until golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Cooking the broccoli: In the meantime, boil the florets in a pasta pan with a little salt, and cook until slightly crispy. Do not overcook. Strain with a hand strainer. Reserve and reuse the broccoli water for the pasta.
When the sausage is cooked to golden, add the partially cook broccoli into the skillet. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If the mixture is too dry, add another tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 or 2 tablespoons of warm broccoli water.
Cooking the pasta: Add the pasta to the broccoli water and cook according to package direction minus 2 minutes. The pasta will continue to cook in the oven so do not overcook. When ready, strain.
The Ricotta and eggs: place the ricotta in a bowl and whip it slightly. This helps make the ricotta a little creamier. Add the beaten eggs and mix. Season with pepper. Add the strained pasta in with the ricotta and egg mixture; mix well.
Assembly: Layer half of the pasta mixture on the bottom of the baking pan, add a sprinkle of pepper and a few tablespoons of grated cheese. Add all the sausage and broccoli mixture on top adding black pepper and a few tablespoons of grated cheese. Lastly, add the remaining pasta on top of the sausage and broccoli. Add more grated cheese on top of the last layer and the shredded cheese Drizzle a tablespoon or so of oil on top of dish to make it golden. Bake until the top of the pasta is golden, about 25 minutes.