Recipe: Orecchiette with Chorizo and Sage

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Orecchiette - small ears - are one of our favorite pasta shapes. They are shaped like the shell of a turtle, or like a thumbprint in pasta form. They scoop up sauce and catch it in their rough ridges, which makes them perfect for hearty winter meat stews.

Here's a recipe for a simple sausage meat sauce with red, spicy chorizo to give it some heat. Chorizo tends to strongly flavor anything it's cooked with, and we love how it flavors this sauce - sage complements it well, too. The little orecchiette hold the sausage crumbles close and soak up the sauce - we didn't have any left afterwards!

Orecchiette with Chorizo and Sage

serves 2-4

1 pound orecchiette pasta
Olive oil
1 pound chorizo sausage
1 large white onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
8-10 large fresh sage leaves
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine

Heat a large, heavy pot or deep sauté pan over medium high heat. Drizzle in a little olive oil. Slit the chorizo sausage in half lengthwise and crumble the meat out of the casings into the pan. Cook until browned - about 8 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and turn the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have softened. Mince half the sage and add too.

When the onion and garlic are cooked and fragrant, add the tomatoes and wine and cover. Simmer until dinner - ideally at least half an hour. Less is OK, and longer is great. The longer you cook it the more it will taste of the smoked paprika in the chorizo.

Heat another pot of water to boiling and add a teaspoon of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Cook the orecchiette for 11-13 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the pasta shapes from sticking to one another. Drain and serve hot with the sauce and a side of greens.

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Per serving, based on 2 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
1842
Fat
70.5 g (108.5%)
Saturated
23.3 g (116.7%)
Carbs
218.1 g (72.7%)
Fiber
18.3 g (73.4%)
Sugars
27 g
Protein
65.1 g (130.1%)
Cholesterol
131.5 mg (43.8%)
Sodium
2612.3 mg (108.8%)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.