Dinner Quick: Pasta with Feta, Broccoli, and Sausage

We have a little formula in our kitchen for quick dinners. (Have you figured it out yet?)That would be pasta, greens, meat, and cheese. All the food groups in one!

And this week we had a particularly good block of cheese: the local artisan goat cheese we've been spotlighting in recipes all this week. And if there's one thing we know about feta, it's that it goes awfully well with broccoli.

So we tossed together some steamed broccoli, the amazingly rich and complex feta, and some already cooked smoked sausage. Smoked sausage is one of our favorite ways to add just a little meat and flavor to our one-dish suppers.

Cook all that together, let it get a little crispy around the edges (like our recent pan-fried butternut squash pasta), and all the flavors come together quickly into a very easy, very fast one-dish meal.

(And yes, we may be preaching just a little, but that local feta really put it over the top.)

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Pasta with Feta, Broccoli, and Sausage
serves 4

1 pound penne pasta
1 small head broccoli
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound smoked sausage like kielbasa or andouille, sliced
4 ounces fresh feta, chopped or crumbled
Salt and pepper

Cook the penne pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli into small florets. Set aside the woody stalks for another use. Heat about 1/2 cup water in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli florets and cover. Steam for about 6 minutes, or until barely tender. Remove broccoli and discard any extra liquid.

Heat a little olive oil over medium heat in the sauté pan and cook the garlic until golden and fragrant - about 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring frequently, until hot.

Turn up the heat to medium high and add the broccoli, pasta, and feta. Cook, stirring frequently, until all is hot and the edges of the pasta are starting to crisp up. (Note: Do in batches, if necessary.)

Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Related: Recipe: Penne with Acorn Squash and Pancetta

(Images: Faith Durand)

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