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Tonight’s Dinner: Broccoli pasta with sausage recipe

Pasta’s usually cooked in salted water. But cooking it in chicken or vegetable stock adds a whole new flavor that guarantees dinner will be a hit.

My whole family loves pasta. It doesn’t matter if it’s covered in sauce or just tossed with some fresh vegetables. If it’s pasta, it’s going to be devoured. But in all the times I’ve made spaghetti or penne or ravioli, I’ve never cooked it in stock. I always follow the directions on the box and cook it in salted, boiling water. But then Parents magazine suggested cooking the pasta in chicken or vegetable stock instead. It was a revelation. Not only did the noodles get cooked, they took on the flavor of the stock, making them even more delectable and bringing the dish to a whole new and unexpected height. I’m definitely doing it again and next time I’ll try a beef or vegetable stock.

Broccoli pasta with sausage

Serves 4


  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 ounces penne
  • 1 (1 pound) bag frozen chopped broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 links sausage, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2  cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring the chicken stock and water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. About six minutes before the pasta is done, add the broccoli and continue cooking for another four or five minutes. Drain, reserving one-half cup of the cooking liquid and return the pasta and broccoli to the pot.
  2. While the pasta and broccoli cook, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the sausage three to four minutes or until browned.
  3. Add the sausage and any oil from the pan to the pasta mixture. Stir in the zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and reserved pasta liquid. Transfer the pasta mixture to a large baking dish, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

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Baked broccoli casserole
Broccoli and ham strata
Creamy broccoli soup

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