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Spicy Veggie Sausage and Shrimp Pesto Conchiglie Salad with Broccoli Rabe

We know how hectic life can get when summer comes to an end and we’re all running around preparing ourselves to go back to school or work. Whether you are a parent trying to map out quick lunches for the kids, or a teacher looking for a grab and go healthy lunch that can last you through the week. This pesto conchiglie salad (also known as “pirate pasta” for the kids) with broccoli rabe is a quick, healthy and easy option that can be enjoyed both as a side dish salad or a warm pasta meal for you and your whole family!

Recipe by Valerie Azinge

Valerie is the author of My Digital Kitchen, a healthy food blog which focuses on delicious pescatarian recipes and sugar conscious desserts for the hungry palate. Her recipes and photos have attracted awareness and followings from reputable celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsey, as well as features and followings from The Food Network and Buzzfeed. 

Serves: 6
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, blanched
  • 1 box (500g) conchiglie pasta, cooked
  • 1 lb raw shrimp
  • 0.8 lb (380g) spicy vegan sausage, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower florets

For Pesto:

  • ¾ cup  fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth, then set aside. You should have the consistency of a smooth paste.

2. Place a deep skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Saute veggie sausages until golden brown on each side, then remove the sausages and set aside. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and saute cauliflower florets until golden brown, then remove and set aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute shrimp, then add salt, pepper and almond milk. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and add boiled conchiglie into the shrimp mixture, then add pesto and broccoli rabe and mix until all the conchiglie is coated with all the ingredients. Transfer conchiglie into a serving plate and top with cauliflower and veggie sausage.

3. If you want to eat this warm, serve immediately. If you want to enjoy this as a pasta salad, cover the top of the serving plate with saran wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Cook’s Notes:  You can substitute regular sausage for the veggie sausage.

Get the scoop on Broccoli Rabe: recipes, health benefits, & nutrition information. Learn more

Broccoli Rabe Pasta Salad