Trading Carbs for Meat (Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage)

I had a Beyond Burger at Yardhouse when I was in San Antonio recently to visit my man.  It was unimpressive. We both had a taste and discussed how the "meat" would be good in other forms such as meatballs or tacos, but as a burger it just fell flat to both of us.  I have elevated cholesterol and I  really like meat; if I am going to  splurge and have a burger, I'm going to have a burger!

Whole Foods had the Beyond Meat Italian Sausage on sale recently and I could not pass it up. I had some broccoli in my Covey Rise box with which I wanted to do something fancy, and I had some pasta shells burning a hole in my pantry.   If I am having fake meat, I can have real carbs right? Because this broccoli bolognese with orecchiette sure looked like something I could make with all that and some tweaks!

Well, this was just delicious.  It really tasted like sausage!  And the lemony pasta went just perfectly with it.  I had it for dinner, Kevin had the leftovers when he got in town and we both loved it hot and reheated.  It is so bright and fresh and pretty darned healthy for a pasta dish!  Make this, you will be so surprised!  You can totally use regular sausage as well, I am sure it will be even better! Full recipe to follow the montage.

Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
I wish daylight savings time wasn't a thing.  This would have been a better pic!
Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
The lovely cast.  So simple.
Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
Chop chop!
Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
You can tell it isn't real, but not really!
Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
Everything into the pool...or hot tub, it is cold outside!
Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage
Doesn't that just look luscious? Pin it and make it!

Broccoli Pasta with Beyond Meat Italian Sausage (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 large head of broccoli (1¼–1½ pounds), cut into florets
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 small shallot, minced
12 ounces fresh Italian sausage (about 3 links), casings removed, I used Beyond Meat
Crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces shaped pasta of your choice, I used shells
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
One lemon, for zest and juice
1½ ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving

Cook broccoli in a large pot of salted boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a colander and let cool (save pot of water for cooking pasta). Chop broccoli into small pieces; set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. add garlic, shallot, sausage and a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, breaking up meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 6–8 minutes.

Bring reserved pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until barely al dente, about 9 minutes (set a timer for 3 minutes less than the package instructions; it will cook more in the skillet).

Meanwhile, ladle about ½ cup pasta cooking liquid from pot into skillet with sausage and add  blanched broccoli. Keep mixture at a low simmer, stirring often, until pasta is finished cooking.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to skillet, then ladle in ½ cup pasta water. Cook, stirring, until pasta absorbs most of the liquid and is just al dente, about 4 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted, then add some lemon zest, about half the lemon.  Then add the juice of the lemon. Gradually add 1½ oz. Parmesan, tossing constantly until you have a glossy, emulsified sauce.  Top with extra cheese and parsley should you desire.

Happy Cooking!


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