Top SF Chronicle Recipe: Pasta with Broccoli and Spicy Sausage Recipe

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10 votes | 6370 views

Our good friend Linda Hansen saved this top recipe from the SF Chronicle in 2004 and it has become one of her and our favorites. It was created at the Last Supper Club restaurant in San Francisco. We've adapted the pasta, broccoli, and sausage ingredients slightly, but have retained most of the original recipe. This is a hugely flavorful and enjoyable pasta, suitable for a dinner party or a typical weeknight. Leftovers are great, so make plenty!

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $1.30 view details
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3 bunches broccoli, broccolini, or broccoli rabe, about 1 1/2 pounds, coarsely chopped (we use 1/2 broccolini, 1/2 broccoli)
  • 12 ounces orecchiette, rotini, or other small pasta (preferably Rustichella or Barilla Plus brands)
  • 3 hot Italian sausage links, about 1 pound (we use hot Italian turkey sausage links...and 1 link is enough if you want to make the dish more healthy, though 3 are delicious)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons very crunchy toasted breadcrumbs (optional - we don't add these)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the salt. Add the broccoli and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Return the same pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly undercooked. Drain, reserving the cooking water.
  3. Split the sausages lengthwise and remove from their casings.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Use a high rimmed skillet or a grease cover to reduce splattering. Add the sausage meat, breaking it up as finely as possible. Add the broccoli and continue cooking and stirring until the broccoli breaks down to a saucelike texture, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock and the pasta. Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce, being careful it doesn't stick. You may have to add a little extra pasta water until the pasta is soft yet chewy (al dente), making sure not to overcook it. About another 5 minutes overall.
  6. Finish the pasta by sprinkling on the cheese and the optional breadcrumbs.
  7. Serve immediately in bowls with small wedges of lemon and extra cheese on the side. You may also want to offer crushed red pepper on the side for those who want additional spice.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 258g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 175  
Calories from Fat 90 51%
Total Fat 10.2g 13%
Saturated Fat 2.98g 12%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 3799mg 158%
Potassium 657mg 19%
Total Carbs 14.27g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5.1g 17%
Sugars 3.38g 2%
Protein 9.9g 16%



  • Nancy Miyasaki
    April 26, 2011
    This is a new favorite for me. I added extra crushed red pepper because I like the additional spice!
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • A.L. Wiebe
      April 26, 2011
      This looks delicious, John! I can't wait to try it.
      • pat mohling
        April 27, 2011
        Love it. Thanks, John
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        • More
          April 28, 2011
          I love it. I will prepare and then tell you how I'm
          • Ruschka Shifra Gamaroff
            April 28, 2011
            I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
            • Now We're Cooking!
              May 3, 2011
              I cooked this recipe this evening, but varied it slightly. Instead of broccoli, I used sliced green, red, yellow, orange peppers and finely diced onion. It was a big hit! I love recipes like this that are simple, yet because of the ingredients, packs such tremendous taste.
              I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
              This is a variation
              1 reply
              • John Spottiswood
                May 3, 2011
                Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for posting the review! I like the creative variation.
              • Margrit Delvoie
                May 3, 2011
                Made this recipe today. Made it just like the recipe said. It was delicious. Will make this more often.
                I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
                1 reply
                • John Spottiswood
                  May 3, 2011
                  So glad you enjoyed it Margrit! Thanks for taking the time to post a review.
                • Sonny
                  May 9, 2011
                  This recipe is great! I'll make this for my dinner guests next time. I think the best spicy Italian sausage is from Sunset Farm Foods from Valdosta, GA. I used to have a friend drive some up when they could. I think you can buy it on their website.
                  I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


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