Orecchietti with Sausages and Spinach

We all love simplicity, so making dinner as quick and easy as possible is always one of our goals.  This is an example of one of those dishes that comes together in less than 30 minutes!  A bonus feature is that it contains carbs, protein and veggies - all in one delicious dish!  My favorite!

Orecchietti pasta (in Italian, it means "little ears") is tossed in a skillet with crumbled sausages, fresh cherry tomatoes, white wine, garlic and fresh spinach. Topped with grated pecorino cheese to give this dish a burst more flavor!

This is a common dish our mom usually makes with broccoli rabe, but my family prefers it with spinach.  Mom always prefers to buy her sausages from her local butcher in links, rather than purchasing the prepackaged crumbled sausage at the supermarket. Then she prepares this dish by sauteing some garlic with olive oil in a skillet, on stove-top.

Next, she adds the crumbled sausage to the skillet and cooks until it's fully cooked. If you have been following us here at 2SR then you know we always cook with wine, and of course, that goes in too! She tosses in the orecchietti pasta and the broccoli rabe (that has been sauteed beforehand) but here in this recipe, I simplified it with spinach, which goes in fresh!  

Either way you prepare it - traditional, using broccoli rabe or updated using spinach, it has all the ingredients coming together in a flavorful, mouth-watering dish that is not only healthy to eat, easy to prepare, delicious to savor, but it also so colorful on your plate.  All your senses will be satisfied!

Cheers and enjoy!

Orecchietti with Sausages and Spinach

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil - divided
  • 4 links of Italian sausage, removed from castings, crumbled 
  • 6 garlic cloves- sliced
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes- sliced
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound of Orecchietti pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. grated pecorino cheese, and extra for serving 

In a large, deep skillet, on medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the garlic and crumbled sausage.

Cook until sausage is brown and fully cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minutes with the sausage.
Pour in white wine and cherry tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer for 2 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes have softened.

Stir in the 2nd tablespoon of olive oil, then add in the spinach.  Stir until the spinach wilts.  Turn off the heat and set aside.

Meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt to water and add in the Orecchietti pasta.  Cook the orecchietti until they are al-dente.  Reserve 1/4 cup of salty water.  Drain the pasta.

Transfer orecchietti pasta to the skillet with sausage mixture. Slowly add in the reserved pasta water. Turn the heat back onto low heat, and sauté while stirring everything until well combined, about 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of grated pecorino cheese.  Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving plates and serve.

Serves 4

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