Sausage is one of those flavorful, meaty, oh-so-satisfying indulgences many of us may eschew on a weeknight. But whether you're following a keto or low-carb diet or just looking for a healthy dinner, this Italian sausage and broccoli spaghetti is a high-protein, easy dish for any day of the week.
How does this rich and satisfying dish keep up a healthy reputation? First of all, the addition of broccoli instantly increases the health points—adding vitamins and nutrients perfect for any diet. Secondly, and most importantly, you can afford to indulge guilt-free by ditching the heavy pasta in favor of It’s Skinny spaghetti (with only 9 calories a bag)!
Rich and Satisfying Italian Sausage & Yummy Broccoli
Italians know their sausage or “salsiccia." Italian sausage is often made with pork and typically comes in two varieties—hot or sweet. Hot Italian sausage gets its spicy reputation from red pepper flakes along with other signature spices, depending on the maker. Different regions and even different makers may add additional flavorings to make the spicy hot sausage their own.
On the other hand, Sweet Italian sausage gets its flavor and name from the addition of sweet basil. Basil is often included in Italian dishes like pizza, chicken pesto, and Caprese salad. In sweet Italian sausage, basil adds an herbaceous, light, and sweet note that really compliments the flavor of the pork.
Whether you choose to make spaghetti with Italian sausage that's hot or sweet, one flavor prevails: fennel. Fennel seeds are used throughout most types of Italian sausage, and these little bursts of seasoning set Italian sausage apart from Spanish chorizo or German bratwurst.
Fennel is a root vegetable (more on why we love root vegetables in a moment) that can be used in many different ways—from fronds to seeds to the root itself. Fennel, on its own, is often a polarizing flavor with notes of black licorice, celery, and even mint. But like it or leave it, when you add fennel seeds to Italian sausage, it really sings. The flavors blend well together in the savory sausage, and it creates a dish that will take you right back to your Nonna’s kitchen.
If you’re unsure about broccoli in general, we urge you to give this super vegetable another chance. Many of us didn't like the overcooked, mushy, grey-green broccoli of our youth, but that's because it was overcooked! When broccoli is steamed or blanched, it retains a bright green color, lots of flavor, and even a little crunch. So give it another shot, and you won't be sorry.
Lemon and parmesan add depth to this dish. The lemon brightens and intensifies the flavors, and the addition of butter (and we urge you to go for the real stuff) adds even more rich satisfaction. Shallots and garlic are classic companions to any pasta dish, but they're especially lovely in this spaghetti with Italian sausage.
Why We Love Root Veggies Like Konjac
What brings this whole dish together is the It's Skinny pasta. This pasta is fantastic—with only 9 calories per bag! For this spaghetti with Italian sausage recipe, we, of course, recommend the spaghetti shape. It's the perfect companion for sausage and broccoli.
It’s Skinny is also available in several shapes—fettuccine, angel hair, and even rice! You can use the 9 calorie noodles as a low-carb swap in any dish. Made from konjac, these perfect pasta swaps are an ideal way to lighten up your favorite recipes and make them your very own.
It's Skinny is made from konjac. So, the next logical question is usually, what IS konjac?
The great thing about konjac (besides it being a perfect pasta swap) is that it takes on the dish's flavors when you cook it. On its own, it doesn't have a strong or overpowering flavor (unlike many low-carb pasta swaps). It’s high in fiber, so it won’t weigh you down like typical flour-based pasta can. There’s no carb coma to deal with after, so you get all the flavor and none of the guilt.
You can find It’s Skinny noodles on Amazon. Each bag is only 9 calories, so we recommend ordering a few. It's Skinny takes no time to prepare—just open the bag and add it to your recipe until it's heated through. We recommend ordering in multiples because once you've tried It's Skinny, you'll realize a whole new world of pastabilities (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves).
Low-Carb Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Broccoli Recipe
If you’re following a low-carb diet, It’s Skinny pasta is the perfect addition. High protein Italian sausage and low-carb broccoli are ideal companions to round out the flavors in this dish. All these ingredients are easy to find at your local market (and you probably have most of them on hand right now).
This dish takes very little time to prepare—simply blanch the broccoli, sauté the sausage, garlic, and shallots, toss in your pasta, and you're ready to enjoy. Yes, it's that easy!
Get ready for your new favorite weeknight spaghetti dish.
Note: This recipe is designed to serve 4-6 people. It’s a great dish for sharing with family and friends. Everybody loves spaghetti night!