Pot of Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Chorizo Bread Crumbs


1 pound fresh chorizo or spicy hot Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
1½ cups fresh coarse bread crumbs or panko
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried tube-shaped pasta, such as rigatoni or ziti
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup tomato paste (1 4-ounce can)
1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped
Hunk of pecorino, parmesan, or ricotta salata, for grating


Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage, leaving the fat behind. 

Add 3 tablespoons oil and the bread crumbs to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. 

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water. 

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in the pot, then add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s a nice brick-red colour and starts to stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes more. 

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the broccoli rabe, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s all wilted and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Add the pasta and chorizo back to the pot along with ½ cup of pasta water. Cook, stirring constantly, until each piece of pasta is coated nicely in the tomato-y, chorizo-y sauce.

Serve straight from the pot (or not), with toasted bread crumbs and pecorino for sprinkling over.

Excerpted from Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman. Copyright © 2019 by Alison Roman. Published in the United States by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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