• Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high. Once water is boiling, season generously with salt; it should taste like seawater. When water returns to a boil, add pasta, quickly stir to separate noodles, then cover pot. When water returns to a boil again, uncover and boil pasta until al dente, stirring occasionally.

  • Meanwhile, in a large high-sided sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over high until it shimmers. Add crumbled sausage and cook, stirring until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

  • Return pan to stove and heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high. Add onion and mushrooms (if using) and cook, stirring often, until onion is softened and mushrooms are golden, about 6 minutes. Add broth, scraping up any caramelized bits on bottom of pan, and bring to a simmer. Add beans, thyme, pepper flakes and reserved sausage with any juices. Season with salt and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sausage is cooked through and mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

  • When pasta is ready, drain it, reserving about 1 cup cooking water, then pour noodles over sausage mixture and add a big splash of lemon juice. Toss to combine over medium. If pasta looks dry, add some cooking water. Check seasonings and serve with grated cheese. Tip: Serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Keep, covered, on back of stove for up to 2 hours. Toss with a little more oil, if needed.

Nutrition Facts

509 calories; 12 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 714 mg sodium. 72 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 27 g protein;