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Very Versatile Orecchiette with Sausage + Parmesan

Ingredients

Scale
  • kosher salt
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 1 large (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped capers
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • parmesan cheese, for topping
  • fresh parsley, for topping

Other Options

  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add kosher salt and dried pasta. Cook until al dente (according to the package instructions). Drain, reserving about 2 cups of pasta water to add some to the sauce later. Allow pasta to rest while you make the sauce.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and crumble in the sausage. Cook, breaking the sausage with the back of a spoon until the sausage it very well browned and the fat is rendered. Spoon the sausage into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and stir for 2 minutes more.
  4. Add the anchovy filets and use the back of a spoon to break up into the onions are garlic.
  5. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Break up with the spoon to create smaller tomato bites.
  6. Return the cooked sausage to the pan along with the olives and capers. Stir. Add about 3/4 cup pasta water to thin the sauce, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Stir pasta into the sauce, adding more pasta water as necessary.
  8. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan and fresh parsley and enjoy warm.
  9. Add the other optional ingredients to the sauce as it cooks if you’d like and enjoy pasta night!

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