Orecchiette with Sausage and Arugula

I wasn’t sure what I expected from this, but it definitely exceeded those expectations.  Jeff and I have a love hate relationship with tomatoes in that we like red sauces, but always opt out of fresh tomatoes on things like sandwiches and whatnot.  Seeing that there was an entire pint of tomatoes in this made me a bit nervous, but at least they were the small variety and cut up which we can sometimes deal with.  Still, there were a lot.  The great thing is that they break down a lot during the simmering process and lend their flavors to the sauce which is seriously delicious.  So, if you’re like us and don’t really like tomatoes or usually cut back on the amount stated at the very least, don’t be afraid to put them ALL in this one.

The sauce was nice and creamy, but had a sweetness to it from the wine.  I used a moscato because it’s what I had but the recipe didn’t state anything other than “white” wine.  The recipe recommended putting some of the pasta water into the sauce, but I really didn’t need to.  I did spoon the orecchiette into the sauce though and bits of water went along with that so maybe that was just enough.  It’s just one of those things you’ll have to judge based on  how thick your sauce is by the end.  The original recipe also called for turkey sausage, to result in a lighter dish, but I just went with some of the meat counter Italian sausage at my local grocery store that was likely pork.  I personally don’t even like sausage… something about the chewy texture, but in this it honestly didn’t bother me at all since it was broken up into pieces.  This is nice and hearty and I think would easily serve 4 people for a main course, but the recipe stated 3.  If you can’t find arugula you could easily substitute spinach instead, but for those not familiar with Arugula it has an almost peppery taste which is a nice addition to this meal.  I would check in the salads and spinach section of your grocery store.  I got mine in a big plastic container.

Orecchiette with Sausage and Arugula

serves : 3-4               Time to make : 35-40 minutes


  • 3 cups Orecchiette pasta
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage (cut back calories and use turkey sausage if you prefer)
  • 2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups Arugula
  • freshly grated pecorino romano to serve

Directions :

  1. Put water in a large pot over medium-high heat and allow to come to a boil.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook onions until soft and starting to brown.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds until fragrant before adding your sausage.  Cook until browned; about 5-6 minutes.  You want to crumble the sausage up to manageable bite size pieces.  Add tomatoes and cook another 3 minutes stirring gently so as not to break up the tomatoes too much.  Add the wine next and allow to start bubbling in your skillet for a minute or so before adding the cream.  Allow sauce to simmer like this as you cook the pasta.
  3. At this point your pasta water should be boiling and you can go ahead and throw in the Orecchiette.  Cook 10 minutes, but don’t drain because you may need some of the pasta water for your sauce.  Rather using a slotted spoon transfer the pasta to the skillet and gently toss around to coat evenly.  If the sauce if too thick add a bit of the pasta water.  Next throw in the Arugula and stir allowing to wilt.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and serve topped with the fresh grated cheese.

Recipe from skinnyluscious


Published in: on January 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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