I love rustic pasta dishes – you know the kind of dish where it’s nothing fancy, super easy to make, and is all kinds of comforting!?! This pasta dish perfectly fits into all those categories, and we make something along these lines at least once a week. Simple veggie filled pastas are one of my favorite ways to get dinner on the table in a hurry.
Pasta dishes like this make for a perfect cozy meal in, with very little prep work, and next to no cleanup afterward. We usually rotate between a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad and simple pasta dishes like this for our weekly ‘date night in’. There’s something special about sharing a bowl of pasta with your loved ones, and I often make this for family get togethers as well.
When I started eating gluten free I thought my pasta days were pretty much over, but luckily I’ve found a couple of brands that I love. Both Delallo and Jovial make great gluten free pastas made from 100% brown rice. I also spiralize a lot and sub in veggie noodles in place of pasta, but sometimes I’m really just craving that certain addicting (and ultimately comforting) texture of pasta.
Tip: I wrote out all my best tips in How to Cook Pasta Like a Boss if you’re new to cooking pasta!
This dish is founded primarily on the flavors of caramelized onions and Italian sausage, so you don’t want to skip the requisite 10-15 minutes it takes to properly caramelize onions.
Since it takes a bit of time to caramelize onions, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients while the onions cook to save time.
I’ve been absolutely crazy about broccoli rabe this year, not only is the flavor fantastic (both sweeter and milder than broccoli) but it also comes in pre-washed packages here which is so nice in the convenience department.
Once the veggies and sausage have been sautéed…
…you stir in freshly cooked pasta along with some of the pasta’s cooking water to create a bit of a sauce.
I love to serve this with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese, but if you’re dairy free, some toasted pine nuts would also be a great addition. I don’t know if you’ve seen that article circling around about pre-grated parmesan cheese having all kinds of fillers in it including wood (WHAT?), but I figure it’s just another reason to prepare things yourself. Not only does freshly grated parmesan taste at least a million times better (really not an exaggeration), but at least you know you’re eating!Print
- 1 – 12 ounce package gluten free pasta, Jovial or Delallo
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 – 12 ounce package pre-cooked Italian sausage links, thinly sliced
- 2 medium yellow onions, (1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 10-12 small stalks broccoli rabe, washed, 12 ounces
- 10-14 crimini mushrooms, washed, 12 ounces
- Sea salt to taste + 1 Tablespoon for cooking the pasta
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, optional
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a large skillet (15″ or bigger) over medium high heat.
- While the pan heats, prepare the onions by cutting off both ends and peeling away the tough outer layer. Cut each onion in half from the top to the bottom. Lay each half flat side down on the cutting board, and slicing across the rounded top, make 1/4″ half moon slices. Set the onion aside.
- When the pan is hot but not smoking, add 2 Tablespoons olive oil and the sliced Italian sausage. Cook for 1-2 minutes to brown each side before removing the sausage from the pan. Set it aside until the end of the cooking time.
- Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil along with the sliced onions. Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt (1/2 Teaspoon) and cook onions stirring every few minutes for 10-15 minutes or until soft and browned.
- While the onions cook, prepare the rest of the ingredients. For the broccoli rabe, stack 4-5 stalks together at a time and roughly slice into 1/2″ pieces. Cut the mushrooms into 1/4″ slices.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil (3-4 quarts of water and 1 Tablespoon sea salt). When the onions are done cooking, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook according to package directions, it’s usually 8-10 minutes which is just enough time to finish the rest of the recipe.
- While the pasta cooks, add the rosemary, broccoli rabe, and mushrooms to the skillet with the caramelized onions. Lower the heat to medium and cook stirring every few minutes until the broccoli rabe is just tender, 6-8 minutes. If at anytime the veggies start to stick, add a small amount of the pasta cooking water to the pan.
- When the pasta is done (al dente with a bit of a bite to it) measure out 1 cup of pasta water before draining the pasta. Turn the heat back up to medium high for the skillet, and add the drained pasta, Italian sausage, and veggies, along with the pasta water and half of the parmesan if you’re using it. Adjust the seasoning by adding sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately with a sprinkling of the remaining parmesan and more freshly ground pepper to taste.
For the Italian sausage feel free to use bulk of link sausage, just make sure to brown and thoroughly cook it if it’s not pre-cooked.