- 1 pound package rigatoni or other pasta
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 10 ounces broccoli rabe, trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
- 8 ounces fennel, bulb sliced and fronds reserved for topping
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces burrata cheese
- Fresh basil leaves, to serve
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Add broccoli rabe 1 minute before pasta is done cooking and let boil. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta mixture into a colander.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pasta pot and return to medium-high heat. Add the fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and sausage and cook, breaking up the sausage as it browns, until crisp.
- Stir in the crushed red pepper and lemon zest and cook for a minute. Stir in the hot pasta mixture, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese. Add the pasta water, starting with 1/2 cup and adding more if needed, and mix and continue to heat until a sauce forms and clings to the pasta.
- Serve warm with burrata cheese, basil, and fennel fronds.