Orechiette with Sausage and Sweet Red Peppers
Orechiette means “little ears” in Italian, and of course, that’s just what this pasta looks like. But far from being insubstantial, the little ears actually offer a good deal of chew and plenty of cavities for capturing the crumbled pieces of sausage and chopped peppers. A generous sprinkle of grated Romano cheese over the top gives it a good finish.
No bulk ground Italian sausage in the market? Then buy links, snip off a bit from each end, and peel away the casings.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturechewy, garlicky, meaty, savory
Type of Dishdry pasta
- 1¼ pounds sweet Italian sausage meat
- 1½ large red bell peppers
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 large garlic cloves
- 1 pound dried orechiette or other short pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Break sausage into small pieces. Finely chop bell peppers.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, turning frequently, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard garlic. Increase heat to high. Add peppers and sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all is lightly crisped and browned, about 10 minutes.
Cook pasta until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water, then drain. Return pasta to pot and stir in sausage and peppers. Add reserved water to sausage cooking pan and stir up brown residue over low heat. Add drippings to pasta and heat together over low heat 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Season with salt to taste. Serve hot and generously grind pepper over each plateful.
Variation for Orechiette with Sausage and Sweet Red Peppers
Use a mixture of sweet and hot sausage, or all hot even if you want the biggest kick.
2005 Leslie Revsin