Rigatoni with Broccolini and Sausage

Jump to Recipe

This Creamy Rigatoni with Broccolini and Sausage is the PERFECT comforting fall/winter meal! You’re welcome!

Rigatoni with Broccolini and Sausage from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

How is it almost a new DECADE in a few weeks? Like where on EARTH did the year go? Christmas is going to roll out around here in a few days and I couldn’t be more excited for the holiday season. I want some comforting meals, lots of movie nights at home with the fire place going, and all the hot cocoa.

And this Rigatoni with Broccolini and Sausage fits the bill when it comes to comforting meals. It’s loaded with flavor from all the broccolini and the sausage and there’s a creamy ricotta sauce that you’re going to want to douse on everything!

Rigatoni with Broccolini and Sausage

5 from 17 votes
This Creamy Rigatoni with Broccolini and Sausage is the PERFECT comforting fall/winter meal!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


For the Pasta

  • 8 ounces rigatoni
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage casings removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 pound broccolini stems sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch coins, and tops cut into small florets
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup whipped ricotta see below
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs toasted with 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Ricotta

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and break up with the back of a wooden spoon and cook for roughly 6 minutes until it starts to brown.
  • Add the broccoli coins, the remaining olive oil and sliced garlic to the skillet. Toss the sausage and keep cooking until the sausage is just about fully browned and the garlic is fragrant. Add the chili flakes and season with salt and pepper.
  • While the sausage is browning, cook the pasta according to the package directions. About 3 minutes before the pasta should be al dente, add the broccoli florets and cook all together, until the pasta is al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water
  • Add ½ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet with the sausage and return skillet to the heat. Add the drained pasta, the whipped ricotta, and half of the Parmesan. Stir the ingredients in the pan to combine the ingredients, put back over medium heat, and cook for a couple of minutes to warm everything through and make a saucy consistency. Serve with more Parm and top with the breadcrumbs.

To make the Ricotta

  • Put the ricotta, salt and plenty 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 and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Always dip out some pasta cooking water before draining your pot. No matter what type of sauce you are making, it’s the perfect way to finish it off.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 950kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 1362mg | Potassium: 522mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2429IU | Vitamin C: 108mg | Calcium: 413mg | Iron: 4mg

Photo Matt Armendariz // Food Styling Adam Pearson // Recipe adapted from Six Seasons


  1. Hi there! Do you toast the breadcrumbs in any butter or olive oil? Or do you you just brown them up in a dry pan? Didn’t see that part in the directions : )

  2. Sorry, got a little confused…. Does the whipped ricotta go on last and on top of the bread crumbs?

    1. Dinner for the win!!!!! I saw this and knew in my soul I had to make it!! I couldn’t get broccolini so I substituted Dino kale. I also 4 timezed the garlic bc we have a problem :). Also had some onion I had to use. This was so amazing my bf was bowing to me!!! Even made his friend come over to try it!!! I can’t wait till I can try it with the broccolini!

  3. My husband made this for dinner last night. WOW!! So delicious I had to stop myself from licking the plate clean. Okay, we were at home alone so I didn’t actually stop myself… Can’t wait for the leftovers at lunch!!

  4. OMG!!! This was amazing! I used the largest rigatoni noodles I hand carried home from Italy! My husband, who loves pasta, was completely blown away. Everyone would love this, kids and adults!! Could serve for a fancy dinner and impress your guests or serve as an everyday meal. It’s that worthy!!

  5. I just made this tonight for the whole family for dinner and it was a huge hit!!! … only comment was that there needed to be more! I did however make a few modifications based on what i had in the kitchen that i thought id share.

    (1) kale instead of broccolini. I have SO MUCH kale still from my garden that I’ve been desperate to use up! (2) goat cheese instead of ricotta. I have a few lactose intolerant family members who cant have the ricotta. And (3) I added sundried tomatoes! … just because i like them and had them on hand 🙂

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!

  6. Made this tonight and it was Fabulous!! Family loved it. So tasty and cheese sauce was delicious. Thank you for the recipe. We definitely be making more of your recipes. Easy to make too. I made the whipped ricotta ahead of time so I think it all came together in about 15 minutes.

  7. Hi! Is the 8 ounces of rigatoni 1/2 box of pasta for this recipe? Looking at the box i have it’s says 1 lb, and trusty google says 1 1b equalsl 16 ounces..haha just trying to make sure i’m doing the right quantities : ) thank you!!

  8. This is likely a dumb question but the wording is confusing to me (likely due to not enough coffee).

    “About 3 minutes before the pasta should be al dente, add the broccoli florets and cook all together”

    Just to clarify, the florets are added to the skillet with the sausage and not the boiling pasta water correct? Thank you thank you!

    1. 3 minutes before the pasta comes out of the boiling water, add the broccoli into the pasta water and cook the broccoli with the pasta. Then drain them all together!

  9. This sounds delicious! Do you toast the panko in the oven with olive oil, or in a skillet? If oven, what temperature? Thanks!

  10. 5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner and OMG, it was amazing, but then again all your recipes are!! My family absolutely loved it!! Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    My first What’s Gaby Cooking Recipe (not my last)! And we love it and BONUS how easy and quick it is to whip up!

  12. 5 stars
    We have tried so many of Gaby’s pasta recipes and this one was my FAVORITE. It is so creamy and yummy with the crunch of the breadcrumbs. It’s on of my favorite recipes ever.

  13. I want to try this tonight. Have you tried with sour cream in place of ricotta? That’s all I have in the house right now ‍♀️


  14. Hello! So excited to make this tonight! Question – just a half cup of the ricotta mixture? Made the whipped ricotta as per directions but it makes a lot more than 1/2 cup!
    Thank you!

  15. 5 stars
    Congrats on bebe!!! Best name award. This is out of control yum! I have so many favorite recipes of yours I’m having trouble keeping track. Is there a way to save recipes within your site so that I don’t forget which ones I have tried and loved???

  16. 5 stars
    Congratulations on your new addition, Poppy!!! I made this tonight and it was so easy and delicious!! It will be filed amongst the many of yours I have made.

  17. 5 stars
    This stuff is addicting and perfect for a quick, satisfying dinner. My boyfriend is not a pasta lover and couldn’t get enough of this, just as good the next day!

  18. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night and it was so so good!! My husband and toddler both ate two helpings. The whipped ricotta alone is divine – will have to remember that when I want to jazz up my toast for breakfast. This is a must make!

  19. 5 stars
    Perfect (non-red) sauce pasta dish. The whipped ricotta is to DIE for and I want to put it on everything I eat.

  20. 5 stars
    Delicious. I used a little of the Gaby’s go to when I sauteed the sausage and I might even add some shallots and mushrooms next time. I just used a couple of tablespoons of ricotta and mixed it with a little olive oil in the ninja and that way I wouldn’t have leftovers. Will make again for sure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating