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Broccoli Rabe Pesto with Whole-Wheat Pasta and Turkey Sausage


The peppery bite of broccoli rabe mellows when joined by Parmesan, pine nuts, and red-pepper flakes. Plus, you get a solid serving of vegetables in a comforting bowl of pasta.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Whole Living, March 2012


  • Coarse salt
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough stems removed
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound spicy turkey sausage, sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 pound whole-wheat linguine


  1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Blanch broccoli rabe until just tender, about 1 minute. Reserving cooking water, transfer broccoli to an ice-water bath until cool, then drain.

  2. Pulse broccoli, pine nuts, and Parmesan in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Drizzle in 1/3 cup oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes.

  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown sausage, turning, until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in reserved water according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water.

  5. Toss pasta, pesto, and sausage, gradually adding cooking water until you get a creamy consistency. Serve with Parmesan and a drizzle of oil.

Cook's Notes

You could also stir this pesto into lentils and sprinkle the dish with crumbled fresh goat cheese.

Reviews Add a comment

  • thepurpleonion
    3 APR, 2012
    I couldn't find broccoli rabe when I wanted to make this so just used broccoli and it was delicious. I estimated the amount of broccoli to use and ended up with a large amount of pesto, so my whole dish turned quite green with the pesto mixed in, but it was a big hit with my husband, and I will definitely make it again. The mild, delicate taste of the pesto was a perfect compliment to the spicy turkey sausage.