Mostaccioli with Chicken Apple Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Bell Pepper

I have a firm belief that carbs can solve many problems. In my never-ending quest for tomato-free pasta dishes due to my GERD, I came up with this number. It uses only a handful of ingredients, and for you time-savers out there, you can even cook the pasta in the same water that you used to cook the broccoli rabe. If you’re a fellow GERD sufferer and cannot tolerate chicken apple sausage, grilled chicken breast makes a good substitute. Garlic can be a GERD trigger too, but I’ve found that cooking it for long enough seems to solve the problem. Some GERD people can tolerate bell peppers and others can’t, so just go with whatever floats your boat!

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins


  • 1 box mostaccioli (1 lb)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, tough stems peeled or removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound chicken apple sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Olive oil


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add one teaspoon each of salt and sugar. Have ready the insert of a salad spinner. Boil the broccoli rabe until it achieves the desired tenderness (about 1-2 minutes for me). Drain the broccoli rabe in the insert of the salad spinner, and rinse immediately under cold water. When rinsed, fill up the bowl of the salad spinner with cold water and let the broccoli rabe sit for a few minutes to stop the cooking process. When the broccoli rabe has cooled, drain well in the salad spinner.

Bring another large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of the water the pasta was cooked in.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté sausage until browned, about 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan. Over medium-high heat, add the garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper and 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Sauté until the bell pepper is very tender, adding more water as necessary, about 8-10 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe to the pan and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the rest of the chicken broth. Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the pan, stirring to coat with the sauce.

Serve with a generous drizzle of olive oil and plenty of parmesan cheese, and some crusty bread. Enjoy!


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