Sausage with Bow Tie Pasta and Broccoli

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.