Sausage with Bow Tie Pasta and Broccoli

Italian, Main Dish, Pasta, Pork, Quick Meals | 42 comments

Want to know a secret? I make up a lot of my pasta dishes with this basic 3-2-1 formula. It’s probably not a new idea, but it definitely helps me throw different dishes together using what I’ve got on hand. I use this formula a lot. Sometimes when I’m really at a loss with what to make for dinner, especially when I haven’t gone grocery shopping, and I’m trying to put a mish-mash of ingredients together for a respectable meal it can be really helpful.


These dishes come together fast because they’re all basic ingredients. Sure you can jazz it up with a little something extra special or make a sauce if you want to. It just gives me a starting place. We all need a starting place to give us a push in the right direction once in a while. I know I’m not the only one who has opened the fridge 20 times within an hour period only to declare that there is “nothing worth eating in this house,” while feeling totally exasperated!

Ready for the formula? It’s pretty simple!


I made this Spicy Bow Tie Pasta with Broccoli and Sausage on one of those exasperated evenings. The only fresh vegetable in sight was 1 crown of broccoli. I knew that wasn’t enough to do a lot with, so I added the sundried tomatoes to get a more significant serving of vegetables. I grabbed 2 links of sausage from the freezer. I always have onion and garlic on hand. And suddenly we were getting somewhere, and it sure wasn’t going to be take-out pizza.


I cooked up the entire meal in less than 30 minutes while I talked to my BFF on the phone. We had started the conversation with me complaining about not knowing what to make for dinner and ended it with my proclamation of dinner being done. HOLY COW, she says! I secretly smiled, proud at my accomplishment. I can indeed make dinner out of “nothing.” And it was most definitely better than “good.”

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Spicy Bow Tie with Broccoli and Sausage
a goodLife {eats} creation


  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cooked till tender crisp
  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked in oil
  • 2 cups mild italian sausage, about 2 links
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, more if you like
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces bow tie pasta, cooked according to package instructions

In a large saute pan, drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, cooking until browned on all sides. Remove sausage and slice into rounds. Return to pan. Add onion to the sausage and saute until the onion is tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits. Stir in the tomatoes, pasta, and broccoli. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

*Note: when I cook the pasta, I add the broccoli to the pot for the last 2 minutes to cook it.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Ashley - February 17, 2010 @ 11:46 pm

    Great post and great tips! Thanks, I'll definitely keep your formula in mind!


  • 2
    Amy - February 18, 2010 @ 12:16 am

    Great ideas for gathering dinner together fast!! I love the veggie combination too. YUM, Katie!


  • 3
    Sarah - February 18, 2010 @ 12:23 am

    Wow, the 3-2-1 pasta is a great idea!


  • 4
    RecipeGirl - February 18, 2010 @ 12:40 am

    Yum! You're doing a nice job w/ your new camera too :)


  • 5
    Alison @ Hospitality Haven - February 18, 2010 @ 12:44 am

    What a great formula! I like how you broke it down like that. Very do-able!


  • 6
    Tastebud Tart - February 18, 2010 @ 1:11 am

    I use this 'method' a lot too! Looks like you had a yummy dinner!


  • 7
    Anonymous - February 18, 2010 @ 1:12 am

    what a pretty plate :) – stephanie


  • 8
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - February 18, 2010 @ 1:16 am

    I knew you would say that, Stephanie! Thank you so much. :)


  • 9
    Sarah - February 18, 2010 @ 2:35 am

    wow, your photos are amazing!


  • 10
    Jamie - February 18, 2010 @ 2:52 am

    Great photos Katie! This pasta looks fabulous!


  • 11
    allison lemons - February 18, 2010 @ 6:41 am

    Love your formula! I can't even count how often I do the exact same thing. Usually I'll be out of meat and just add extra vegetables to make up for it. Just tonight I had pasta with peas, arugula, garlic and onion, topped with some pecorino romano. Great post!


  • 12
    MeetaK - February 18, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    pasta is almost a staple at out home too – i guess with kids it's only natural. loving the formula and the spicy recipe!


  • 13
    ABowlOfMush - February 18, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

    Looks so yummy! I'm bookmarking this, it's just my kind of dinner! :)


  • 14
    megan - February 18, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    wow, what a great post. I never thought about it like that before. I"m going to start experimenting with more pasta meals. I love pasta in pretty much anything, so I'm excited. I'm not very inventive in the kitchen, so stuff like this really helps me out!


  • 15
    Tracy - February 18, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

    Oh I love these throw together dinners and you definitely deserved to be smiling at yourself! Great job! I don't know if I'm more impressed with the last minute meal or that you were able to think through your kitchen while on the phone with your BFF. I'm soooo easily distracted when I'm on the phone.


  • 16
    nina - February 18, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    A beautiful site, beautiful photos and beautiful food. I am thrilled that I found this site…..wow!


  • 17
    cakescraps - February 18, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

    Yum. That's about all I can say! I'm definitely going to give this a try. And I'll keep that formula in mind for busy nights too!Also, I'm having a great cooking giveaway on my blog if you and your readers are interested.www.cakescraps.wordpress.com


  • 18
    Jaimie - February 18, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

    Awesome. This really inspires me to work with what I've got more often!


  • 19
    Georgia.Pellegrini - February 19, 2010 @ 12:23 am

    Oh this looks amazing! It's hearty pastas like this that get me through the winter. And I think we can all agree that bowtie pasta makes the world go round. I might throw some peas into it!


  • 20
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - February 19, 2010 @ 1:46 am

    Love your pasta formula! Brilliant :) This dish looks tasty, too. I really enjoy pasta with sausage… One of my favorites!


  • 21
    Anonymous - February 19, 2010 @ 5:11 am

    This is also good with sausage, green peppers and onions, substituting beef broth for the wine. So easy and kid-friendly, too!


  • 22
    gourmetaddict - February 19, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

    This recipe looks delicious! Love your blog, will follow your updates!


  • 23
    marla {family fresh cooking} - February 19, 2010 @ 8:11 pm

    I love your 3:2:1 pasta technique. This dish looks colorful, healthy and delicious. Don't you love when you can cook and talk on the phone! Multi tasking rules!


  • 24
    Karly - February 20, 2010 @ 11:48 pm

    Love this recipe! I'll be sure to try your 3-2-1 method!


  • 25
    Megan - February 22, 2010 @ 3:51 am

    I love your photos-they're so bright and colorful! And thank you for including that 3-2-1 method, it makes putting together a dish a snap!


  • 26
    Anonymous - February 23, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    Hi, I am Nicky from Oxford, England.I am such a big pasta fan, and so is my daughter!I always love new twists to an old favorate!!!Thank you so much for making the time to do this!!!thanksnicky williams


  • 27
    pulltaffy - February 24, 2010 @ 12:29 am

    Oh my goodness! I made this for dinner tonight. I used vegan sausage for me, and regular for my husband. It was amazing! It's so easy to get caught up in "complicated" cooking, I sometimes forget how fantastic simple dishes can be.


  • 28
    Cookbook Queen - January 09, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

    Can you believe I was totally unfamiliar with the 3-2-1 Pasta Formula??

    I LOVE it!!

    Thanks so much, this is going to be a huge help!!


  • 29
    Margaret - January 09, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    Holy Cow!! is right. So good so quickly. Thanks for this one!!!


  • 30
    MAJERAL - April 14, 2011 @ 8:07 am

    Thanks, I am a senior and single , On a very fixed income and only eat out for a very special occasions. I too look in the big white box and see nothing, After cooking almost 100 years I need help lol.
    Good going , I had a picky eater, Roland he would look at the food and say euuuuu it looks dead! Going in the Army was the best thing for that .
    Be Well


  • 31
    LaRue - April 20, 2011 @ 5:56 am

    If you cook the sausage whole, make sure to let it sit about 10 minutes before slicing, so you get all the delicious juices to stay in the sausage and not on your cutting board. To save time, slice the sausage before cooking or remove from casing and crumble.
    Good recipe!


  • 32
    Tracy @ HappyDaisyAZ - April 20, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

    This looks delish. Thank you so much – can’t wait to try this next week.


  • 33
    Lori - April 26, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    This is very simular to a meal a threw together on a night I didn’t pre-plan a meal or have a lot on hand.

    I used several links of spicy sausage and a bag of forzen california mixed veggies.

    I added some chicken stock (a little) and cooked penne pasta. Ta da! dinner was served and everyone liked it.

    It is now one of my quick emergency meals.


  • 34
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen - April 27, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    That shot with the steam coming off of the pasta…oh my! I love the formula too–genius!


  • 35
    Annie - May 06, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    This sounds great. Guess what we are having tonight? Thanks. Love your site, 1st time here.


  • 36
    Jane - May 06, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    I just made this tonight with spicy, cajun sausages. GREAT. I really thought my husband was going to lick the bowl. :) This one is going into the rotation.



  • 37
    Lara - July 16, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    Made this tonight for my boyfriend, who is very picky to say the least. He loved it, which is a true testament to its deliciousness! Love the 3-2-1 idea too, I’m going to remember that. Thanks!


  • 38
    Lara - July 16, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    Made this tonight for my boyfriend, who is very picky to say the least. He loved it, which is a true testament to its deliciousness! Love the 3-2-1 idea too, I’m going to remember that. Thanks!


  • 39
    Cami - February 06, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

    Made this tonight and we loved it! Super delicious!


  • 40
    Rosa - March 13, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    What a gorgeous pasta dish! Lovely flavors.




  • 41
    michelle - March 21, 2013 @ 7:31 pm



  • 42
    Sonya - April 28, 2015 @ 9:46 am

    I love your formula, and this recipe is definitely not second best. Great idea!!!


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