Penne with Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, Chiles & Mint

penne with sausage broccoli

Recipe by Rachael Ray

  • 4Servings


  • Salt
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough ends trimmed
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small red finger chiles, chopped, or 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest plus 1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. penne rigate
  • 1 cup crumbled ricotta salata or feta
  • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves, finely chopped


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Bring a few inches of water to a boil in another pot for the broccoli rabe, salt the water, add the broccoli rabe. Cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; drain. Chop. 

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil, three turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe, onion, chiles, garlic, lemon zest and oregano. Cook the sauce, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.

3. Salt the boiling water for the pasta, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 to 3/4 cup starchy cooking water. Add the starchy water to the sauce; remove from the heat. Toss in the pasta, cheese, mint and lemon juice; season.