Gremolata may sound like a creature you’d find under your bed, but it’s actually a condiment with chopped herbs and nuts—think of it as pesto’s more rustic cousin. And like pesto, it’s a perfect match for gemelli pasta and other Italian-style ingredients, such as sausage and baby broccoli. We also promise it won’t growl and grumble into the night but rather send you into the evening content and happy.
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Sweet Italian Pork Sausage
Wash and dry all produce. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim woody bottom ends from baby broccoli, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Roughly chop garlic. Pick oregano leaves from stems; discard stems. Zest lemon until you have 1 tsp zest, then cut into halves. Remove sausage from casing.
Once water is boiling, add gemelli to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 9-12 minutes total. About 4 minutes before gemelli is done, add baby broccoli to pot. (TIP: Gemelli should be chewy on the outside but dry in the center at this point.) Cook until baby broccoli is tender and gemelli is done, 3-4 minutes, then drain.
While pasta cooks, place almonds, oregano, and garlic on your cutting board in a pile and finely chop until the mixture has a pesto-like texture. TIP: It’s OK if the almonds are somewhat coarse.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, breaking up meat into pieces. Cook, tossing occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Reduce heat under pan to medium low. (TIP: Add another drizzle of olive oil if there is no grease left.) Add gremolata. Cook, tossing, until almonds begin to turn golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add sausage, baby broccoli, gemelli, lemon zest, and half the Parmesan to pan, tossing to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze or two of lemon juice (to taste). Divide between bowls, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan, and serve.