This dish is reminiscent of a hefty pizza topping minus the crust. Typically in most instances, I would opt for hot Italian sausage over sweet but this one seemed to call out for the latter. And as usual, I made a few tweaks, in this case being the package of sausage was two pounds instead of one-and-a-half, so I used it all. We like leftovers…
Employing quarter sheets about 12″ x 9″, allows you to cook your main course and side dish at the same time in the same oven. Yet there’s no mixing of flavors that would happen if you combined everything on one large sheet pan—albeit, sometimes that is the effect you want, but not here. (That being said, if all you have is a larger sheet pan, go ahead and make the recipe, you won’t be sorry.)
In Step 3, simmering the tomato mixture was supposed to take 15-20 minutes, but mine was thick and ready after only eight minutes, so keep an eyeball on yours. At Step 10, I was concerned about the toppings on the cooked links falling through the open spaces, so I cut them down into approximate 5″ lengths and lined them up in a tight soldiers row.
In the end, the sausage juices will mingle with the tomato sauce and melted cheese, without compromising the roasted garlicky broccoli to serve alongside. A definite keeper!
Sheet-Pan Sausage Parmesan with Garlicky Broccoli
For the Tomato Sauce:
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove large garlic, thinly sliced
- Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 large sprig basil
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the Sausage and Broccoli
- 1 small bunch broccoli, cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 lbs. hot or sweet Italian sausage, pricked all over with a fork
- 5 oz. fresh ricotta
- 3 cloves garlic, 2 thinly sliced, 1 finely minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped basil or parsley for serving
- Heat oven to 450°.
- Prepare sauce: In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Stir in tomatoes, basil sprig, salt and pepper, and bring to a brisk simmer. Simmer until sauce is very thick and most of the moisture is evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes (or less, as in our case). It should be thicker than the usual marinara sauce. Remove and discard basil.
- While sauce is cooking, toss broccoli with oil, red pepper flakes and salt on a quarter-size rimmed baking sheet, and place in oven.
- Arrange sausage in a single layer on another quarter-size rimmed baking sheet, and roast along with pan of broccoli until golden brown on bottom, about 15 minutes. Flip sausages over so browned sides are on top.
- When you flip the meat, remove broccoli pan from oven and toss with sliced garlic. (Reserve grated garlic for ricotta.) Drizzle broccoli with a little more oil.
- Return pan to oven and continue to roast broccoli and sausages until the meat is cooked through and broccoli is tender and browned, about 5 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, mix ricotta and grated garlic.
- When broccoli is done, remove from oven and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Move sausage to cutting board and slice into 5″ lengths. Line the links into a tight soldiers row back on sheet pan. Top sausages with tomato sauce and dollops of ricotta. Drizzle with olive oil and grind pepper generously over the top. Sprinkle on mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, and the garlic is opaque, 3 to 5 minutes. If you prefer, you can broil the cheese to melt it, 1 to 3 minutes.
- Serve the sausage, sauce and cheeses with broccoli on the side. If desired, serve crusty bread for sopping up the tomato sauce (although in our case, there was no extra sauce to mop up).
Adapted from a recipe by Melissa Clark of NYTimes Cooking