Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Sausage
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
  4. Salt and pepper
  5. 8 ounces rigatoni
  6. 1 pound broccoli, stems trimmed and peeled, stems sliced crosswise into ¼” coins, and tops cut into florets
  7. ¼ teaspoon dried chile flakes
  8. ½ cup Whipped Ricotta (recipe follows)
  9. ½-1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  10. ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs, optional
  11. Whipped Ricotta (Makes about 1 ½ cups)
  12. 1 ½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese (from Marché)
  13. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  14. Freshly ground black pepper
  15. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put the garlic in a small bowl and pour over enough olive oil to cover. Shape the sausage into 4 balls then flatten them like a hamburger patty.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Add the pasta and cook just shy of al dente according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage patties and cook until nicely browned on one side, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add the broccoli coins and the sliced garlic, including the oil, to the skillet. Flip the sausage patties and keep cooking until the sausage is just about fully cooked, another 4 more minutes or so. Break up the sausage with a spoon into bite-size chunks. Add the chile flakes and cook for 30 seconds or so. With a ladle, scoop out about ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water, add it to the pan to stop the cooking of everything, and slide the pan from the heat.
  5. About 3 minutes before the pasta should be al dente, add the broccoli florets and cook all together until the pasta is ready. Scoop out another cup of pasta cooking water, drain the pasta and broccoli, and add to the skillet.
  6. Return the skillet to the heat. Add ¼ cup or so of the pasta water, the whipped ricotta, and half the Parmigiano. Season the pasta generously with salt and black pepper. Shake the pan to combine the ingredients, put back over med. heat, and cook for a couple of min. to warm everything through and make a nice saucy consistency.
  7. Serve with more Parmigiano and top with the breadcrumbs, if using.
Whipped Ricotta Directions
  1. Put the ricotta, salt and 20 twists of pepper in a food processor and start to process. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Pause and scrape down the sides if needed. The mixture should get lovely and creamy. Taste it and adjust with more salt, pepper. Or a bit more olive oil – you should be able to taste the oil as well as the ricotta. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. From the book: Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

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