Sausage, spinach, cheese, pasta — comfort food at its best! This recipe is from a magazine ad for dairy products and it’s great for supper on a cold winter night. Cook pasta shells and drain. Meanwhile, cook the onion, garlic and sausage. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts. Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and add the cheeses. Spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of a baking dish, stuff the shells, place them on top of the sauce and bake.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for sausages without additives, such as PC Free From brand. Tre Stelle ricotta is additive-free, as is genuine Parmesan cheese. I used Hunt’s tomato sauce.

Cook the onions, garlic sausage

Add the spinach

Cook until the spinach wilts

Stuff shells and place on top of tomato sauce. Top with Parmesan.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is golden

Sausage, spinach and ricotta cheese shells

Ingredients:

32 uncooked jumbo pasta shells

1 tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil

1 small onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 Italian sausages, casings removed

6 oz (170 g) of spinach, chopped finely

14 oz (400) of ricotta cheese

¾ cup (180 ml) of grated Parmesan cheese

½ tsp (2.5 ml) of sea salt

22 ounces (640 ml) of store-bought tomato sauce

Fresh Italian parsley, minced

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta shells according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While the shells are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian sausages. Using a wooden spoon, break up the sausage meat and sauté until fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the sausage mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, ½ cup (125 ml) of the grated Parmesan cheese and the sea salt, and mix to combine.

Spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of a large baking dish. Generously fill the cooked shells with the sausage and cheese mixture and set over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Saputo grated Parmesan cheese and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is golden. Garnish with Italian parsley and serve. Serves 8.

From Saputo Dairy Products

This recipe from the New York Times uses harissa paste, a North African paste made from roasted peppers and ingredients such as garlic, caraway, coriander and cumin. It adds wonderful flavour and colour. In this recipe, brown the chicken thighs and set aside. Then cook shallots and garlic, stir in harissa and cinnamon, return the chicken to the pan, add stock and simmer until the chicken is done. Serve with the sauce and garnish with cilantro, scallions and lime wedges.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used additive-free Belazu Rose Harisssa paste, which is available from Well.ca or Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts at 141 Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa. I used Imagine Organic brand chicken stock. Check the cinnamon to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Cook the chicken and shallots in the harissa sauce

Harissa chicken thighs with shallots

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

4 to 5 small shallots, ends trimmed, quartered, root to stem, and peeled

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons harissa paste

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 to 1 ½ cups chicken stock, plus more as needed

¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

Flaky salt, for serving (optional)

Preparation:

Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook undisturbed until nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan and return to medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

Stir in harissa and cinnamon, and add back in the chicken and any residual juices. Pour in enough of the stock to come up to the chicken about halfway, and bring to a simmer. Partly cover and allow the chicken to finish cooking through, about 15 minutes more.

Toss the chicken in the sauce until it’s nicely coated. Plate and top with the cilantro and the scallions. Serve, spooning braising liquid on top and with lime wedges on the side. Finish with flaky salt, if desired. Serves 4.

From the New York Times

The stir-fry from Real Simple magazine cooks in less than 10 minutes, once all your ingredients are ready to go. Make a simple salty-spicy sauce with soy or tamari sauce, hot sauce and lime, cook shrimp and set aside. Stir-fry vegetables until tender-crisp, add the shrimp back to the pan with sauce and heat through. Serve over rice and garnish with lime wedges, sesame seeds and cilantro. Cook’s note: I used red peppers instead of carrots.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use tamari instead of soy sauce. I used Simply Natural organic sriracha, which is additive-free. Check the shrimp for sulfites or other preservatives.

Stir fry shrimp and set aside

Stir fry vegetables, then add sauce and shrimp to the pan and heat through

Spicy shrimp stir-fry

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons (30 ml) low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek) or sriracha

1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey

2 limes

2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil, divided

1½ pounds (680 g) peeled, deveined, tail-on large raw shrimp

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) kosher salt

6 ounces (170 g) snow peas (about 2 cups/500 ml), trimmed

2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 1-in./2.5-cm piece)

Steamed white rice, sesame seeds, and fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Preparation:

Place soy sauce, chile paste, and honey in a small bowl. Squeeze in 2 tablespoons (30 ml) juice from 1 lime and stir to combine. Cut remaining lime into wedges and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil to skillet. Add snow peas, carrots, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in sauce and shrimp; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is slightly thickened and shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute. Serve stir-fry over rice with lime wedges alongside; garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro leaves. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

Another great sheet pan dinner, this one from the New York Times. Coat chicken pieces in oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika and oregano. Arrange on a baking sheet and add cherry tomatoes and peppers. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for about a half hour.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives or preservatives.

Arrange vegetables around the chicken and bake for about 30 minutes

Sheet pan paprika chicken with tomatoes and peppers

Ingredients:

3 pounds (1.4 kg) bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, drumsticks, thighs or a mix)

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) apple cider vinegar, plus more for serving

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 tablespoon (15 ml) sweet paprika

1 teaspoon (5 ml) Espelette pepper or smoked hot paprika (pimentón)

1 teaspoon (5 mml) dried oregano

1 pint cherry (500 ml) tomatoes (preferably different colors), halved

1 poblano chile or 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup (250 ml) thinly sliced sweet bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)

⅓ cup (85 ml) grated Parmesan

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Season chicken all over with salt, and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, paprika, Espelette and oregano. Pour over chicken, tossing to coat.

Add tomatoes, poblano and sweet peppers to baking sheet, spread vegetables around the chicken. Season vegetables lightly with salt and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle Parmesan all over chicken and vegetables.

Roast until chicken is golden, crisp and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking but don’t disturb the chicken. If white meat is done before dark meat, remove it as it finishes cooking.

Transfer chicken to plates. Stir vegetables around in pan, scraping up all the delicious browned bits from the bottom and sides of pan, and stir in the parsley and black pepper to taste. Taste and add salt if needed, and a drizzle of vinegar if you like. Spoon vegetables over the chicken to serve. Serves 4.

From the New York Times

Here’s another delicious dish from Alison Roman’s new cookbook Nothing Fancy. Cook a pot of rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta and drain. Brown spicy sausage or chorizo and set aside. Brown breadcrumbs and set aside, then fry garlic and add tomato paste and broccoli rabe. Cook a few minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender-crisp. Add the cooked pasta, a splash of pasta cooking water and sausage back to the pot and heat through. Garnish with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use PC Free From hot Italian sausages, which are additive-free, a panko without additives and No Name tomato paste. Genuine Parmesan cheese contains no additives, preservatives or colour.

Brown the sausage and set aside

Brown the breadcrumbs and set aside

Brown the garlic

Add tomato paste and broccoli rabe and cook until tender-crisp

Add cooked sausage and pasta to the pan

Garnish with breadcrumbs and cheese and enjoy

Ingredients:

1 pound (454 g) fresh chorizo or spicy hot Italian sausage (about 4 links), casings removed

6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more as needed

1 ½ cups (375 ml) fresh coarse bread crumbs or panko

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound (454 g) dried tube-shaped pasta, such as rigatoni or ziti

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ cup (60 ml) tomato paste

1 large bunch of broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, coarsely chopped

Hunk of pecorino, Parmesan, or ricotta salata, for grating

Preparation:

Cook the sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with the back of a spoon, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the sausage, leaving the fat behind.

Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oil and the bread crumbs to the pot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bread crumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until just al dente. Drain, reserving at least 1 cup (250 ml) of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil in the pot, then add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until it’s a nice brick-red color and starts to stick a bit to the bottom of the pot, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the broccoli rabe, then season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s all wilted and bright green, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the pasta and sausage back to the pot along with ½ cup (125 ml) of pasta water. Cook, stirring constantly, until each piece of pasta is coated nicely in the tomato-y, sausage-y sauce.

Serve straight from the pot (or not), with toasted bread crumbs and cheese for sprinkling over. Serves 6.

From Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman

This recipe from Food52 is great comfort food for a chilly fall night. Dredge chicken thighs in flour, brown them and set aside. Fry some bacon and cook peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Season, add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock, return the chicken to the pan and braise until done. Toss in some fresh herbs, serve over pasta or polenta and sprinkle some grated parmesan on top.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for nitrite-free bacon and spices without colour or anti-caking agents. I used Imagine organic chicken stock, Unico canned tomatoes and Molisano tomato sauce, which contains only tomatoes and salt. Genuine parmesan cheese contains no artificial ingredients.

Dredge chicken in flour and brown

Cook bacon until crisp

Fry peppers, onion and mushrooms

Add tomatoes, stock and tomato sauce, return chicken to pan and braise

Serve over pasta or polenta

Ingredients:

Olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of a large skillet with a lid

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour seasoned with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt and ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper

2 slices bacon, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 ounces (113 g) white or brown button mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried basil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground fennel seed

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt

1 (14 to 15-ounce/414 to 144 ml) can whole peeled tomatoes

8 ounces (236 ml) tomato sauce

8 ounces (236 ml) chicken broth

¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh basil leaves

¼ cup (60 ml) torn fresh oregano leaves

Grated parmesan for serving

Cooked pasta or soft polenta for serving

Preparation:

Coat the skillet with olive oil, up the sides of the pan about ¼ inch (0.64 cm) and heat. Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and brown each side until golden. Remove the thighs and set aside.

Drain the oil from the skillet and add the chopped bacon. Cook until almost crisp and then add the 2 peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes.

Stir in the dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, red pepper flakes, and salt. Continue to sauté until you can smell the garlic, another few minutes.

Crush the plum tomatoes with your clean hands to break them up and add to the skillet along with the juices from the can. Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.

Return the chicken thighs to the skillet, skin side up, and bathe the sauce over the pieces. Bring everything up to a simmer and continue to simmer, partially covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.

After the 30- to 40-minute simmer, stir in the fresh basil and oregano. Serve a chicken thigh and some of the sauce with peppers over spaghetti or some soft polenta. Shower a little Parmesan over the top and enjoy! Serves 4.

From Food52

This roast chicken dish from Alison Roman, featured in her new cookbook Nothing Fancy, is perfect for Sunday dinner. Season a whole chicken and stuff with oregano. Place in a roasting pan and scatter tomatoes, garlic, butter and more oregano around the chicken. Roast low and slow – about 2 ½ hours – until the chicken is done and the tomatoes are soft. Add some wine vinegar and serve.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Eden Organic red wine vinegar, which has no sulfites added. Check the bread for preservatives – Ace Bakery bread is usually free of additives. I use Gay Lea butter, which has no colour added.

Tomatoes, garlic, oregano and butter enhance the flavour of this slow-roasted chicken

Stuff the chicken with oregano, drizzle with oil and crushed fennel seed and nestle the other ingredients around the chicken

Roast until the chicken is done and the tomatoes are very soft

Slow-roasted oregano chicken with buttered tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 (3 ½ – to 4-pound/1.5 to 1.8 kg) whole chicken

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle or spice mill, or chopped with a knife

1 bunch fresh oregano

1 ½ pounds (680 g) small vine-ripened tomatoes (about 6), halved lengthwise

2 heads of garlic, halved crosswise (it’s fine to leave the skin on)

2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar

4 to 6 (1-inch/2.54-cm-thick) slices of good country bread, such as country loaf or sourdough, toasted (optional)

Preparation:

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 C). Season the chicken with salt and pepper. (If you can do this in advance, please do.) Drizzle it with the olive oil and sprinkle with the fennel seeds.

Stuff the cavity with half the oregano and place in a large baking dish. Scatter the tomatoes, garlic, butter and remaining oregano around the chicken. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and completely cooked through, and the tomatoes are nice and jammy, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Add the vinegar to the tomatoes and let the chicken rest in the baking dish for 10 minutes.

Place toast, if using, on serving platter and spoon the jammy tomatoes over or around the toast. Carve the chicken and place on top of the toast to catch the juices. Serves 4-6.

From Nothing Fancy, by Alison Roman

This pizza from Epicurious is savoury and hearty. Top pizza dough with cheese, rosemary, hot pepper flakes and salt and then add mozzarella, cooked sausage, onions and mushrooms. Bake until the crust is brown and then garnish with more cheese and parsley. Cook’s note: A pizza wheel may drag the toppings off the pizza, so try a large sharp chef’s knife instead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

If you are buying the pizza dough, check for preservatives. If you are making your own, look for a recipe using unbleached all-purpose flour, traditional active dry yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil and water. Genuine Parmesan cheese is additive free. Check the hot pepper flakes to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Look for sausages without additives or preservatives, such as PC Free From brand hot Italian sausages. I used No-Name pizza mozzarella, which is additive free.

Top the dough with cooked sausage, onions and wild mushrooms

Bake until crust is browned and sprinkle with more cheese and parsley before serving

Ingredients:

1 16-ounce (454 g) ball purchased or homemade fresh pizza dough

2/3 cup (165 ml) finely grated Parmesan cheese

2 ¼ teaspoons (12 ml) finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried crushed red pepper

Coarse kosher salt

1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) olive oil, divided

2 ½ hot Italian sausages, casings removed

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

7 ounces (198 g) fresh wild mushrooms (such as stemmed shiitake, oyster, and chanterelle), thickly sliced

1 ¾ cups (438 ml) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella cheese (about 7 ounces), divided

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preparation:

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450°F (232°C). Lightly flour 2 baking sheets. Place dough on work surface; let stand until room temperature, about 20 minutes. Divide dough in half. Press and stretch each piece out on lightly floured surface to 5-inch round. Sprinkle each with 1/3 cup (85 ml) Parmesan cheese, ¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) rosemary, and ¼ (1.25 ml) teaspoon crushed red pepper; sprinkle with coarse salt. Roll each piece of dough out to 10-inch (25.4-cm) round, pressing in seasonings. Transfer dough rounds to prepared baking sheets.

Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage. Sauté until brown, breaking into ½ -inch (1.25-cm) pieces with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl. Add onion to skillet. Sauté until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; transfer to plate. Add remaining ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) oil to skillet. Add mushrooms and remaining ¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) rosemary; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Leaving ½ -inch (1.25-cm) plain border, top each dough round with ¾ cup (185 ml) mozzarella, then onion, sausage, and mushrooms.

Bake until crust bottoms are crisp and brown, reversing sheets after 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total. Using large spatula, transfer pizzas to work surface. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) mozzarella, then parsley, if desired. Makes 2 pizzas.

From Epicurious

This healthy and tasty recipe from Canadian Living is perfect for a weeknight supper. Roast zucchini, garlic and red onion for 20 minutes, then add salmon and cherry tomatoes. Broil for about 8 minutes – be careful not to overcook – and serve. To broil, place the baking sheet about six inches (15 cm) from the broiler coils.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Red wine vinegar typically contains added sulfites. I use Eden Organic red wine vinegar, which has only naturally occurring sulfites.

Roast zucchini, onion and garlic for about 20 minutes

Add salmon and tomatoes and broil for about 8 minutes

Sheet Pan Provençale Salmon

Ingredients:

3 zucchini, cut in 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 red onion, cut in ½ -inch (1.25-cm) thick wedges

3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, divided

¾ teaspoons (3.75 ml) pepper, divided

4 skin-on salmon fillets (about 1 lb/450 g total)

2 cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes

3 tablespoons (45 ml) red wine vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) basil leaves, torn

Preparation:

Arrange rack in top third of oven; preheat to 425°F (218°C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper. On pan, toss together zucchini, garlic, red onion, 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the oil and ½ tsp (2.5 ml) each of the salt and pepper. Roast, stirring halfway through, until tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven; push vegetables to edges of pan. Arrange salmon, skin side down, and tomatoes in centre; drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil. Sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt and ¼ tsp (1.25 ml) pepper. Return to top rack of oven; broil until fish flakes easily when tested and vegetables are beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Drizzle with vinegar; sprinkle with basil. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living

When the weather cools down I start to crave hearty baked pastas like this one from Bon Appetit.

While cooking your pasta (add the broccoli rabe for the last few minutes), brown sausage meat in an oven-proof skillet and add garlic and fresh sage. Add cream and cheese to make a savoury sauce. When the pasta and broccoli rabe are cooked, add the meat/cheese sauce, mix, return everything to the skillet and bake. Add more fresh sage and place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the sausage, cheese and hot pepper flakes to make sure they don’t contain colour, additives and preservatives.

Brown the sausage meat

Cook pasta and add broccoli rabe for the last few minutes of cooking

Add cream and cheese to sausage to create a sauce

Bake for about 35 minutes then place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top

Ingredients:

Kosher salt

12 ounces (340 g) Fontina and/or aged cheddar cheese

6 garlic cloves

2 large sprigs sage

1 bunch of broccoli rabe

¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound (454 g) sweet or hot Italian sausage

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half

1 pound (454 g) ridged medium pasta shells, or large tube pasta, such as lumaconi or rigatoni

Preparation:

Place racks in center and upper third of oven; preheat to 325°F (163°C). Heat a large pot of water over high. Add several tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil (this is for your pasta).

Grate 12 oz. (340 g) cheese on the large holds of a box grater (you should have about 4½ cups/1.06 L). Smash 6 garlic cloves, peel, and coarsely chop. Pick all sage leaves from stems and set aside about 10. Finely chop remaining leaves (you should have about 1 Tbsp./15 ml)). Trim tough dried ends from 1 bunch of broccoli rabe, then cut stems into 2″/5cm pieces. Leave leafy ends long.

Heat a deep, large, ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) oil and swirl to coat. Remove 1 lb. (454 g) sausage from casings and add to skillet. Break into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook, undisturbed, until sausage is browned, about 4 minutes. Stir a couple of times and continue to cook, undisturbed again, until sausage is fully cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.

Add garlic, chopped sage, and ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) red pepper and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes.

Stir in 2 cups (500 ml) half-and-half and simmer until sauce is thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Gradually add about two-thirds of cheese, bit by bit, stirring constantly and letting cheese melt completely before adding more, until sauce is smooth and thick, about 3 minutes; season with salt and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, cook 1 lb. (464 g) pasta shells in boiling salted water 2 minutes shy of package instructions (8–10 minutes depending on type). During the last 2 minutes, add all of broccoli rabe to pot with pasta. Drain in a colander and shake several times to remove excess water. Return pasta and broccoli rabe to empty pasta pot.

Add cheesy sausage mixture from skillet to pot with pasta. Stir until pasta and broccoli rabe are coated in sauce, then transfer everything back to skillet.

Cover skillet tightly with foil and bake on center rack until pasta is tender and sauce is bubbling, 30–40 minutes. Let rest a few minutes while you heat broiler.

Remove foil and top with remaining cheese. Toss sage leaves with remaining 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) oil in a small bowl and arrange over pasta. Broil until cheese is browned and bubbling in spots, about 5 minutes (depending on strength of broiler).

Let pasta cool a minute or two before serving. Serves 8.

From Bon Appetit

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