Orecchiette w Sausage and Broccoli

Comfort Pasta is here! Autumn has finally been welcomed in the tri- state area! My Family LOVES Orecchiette Pasta. I have a couple of ways I like to use them. This one is a favorite among my clients. My family likes it as well.  Fun facts on Orecchiette.  It gets it’s  name because the shape of the pasta resembles a small ear. Ear in Italian is orecchio. Orecchiette= Little ears.  It’s shape cradles sauce and ingredients perfectly. Make this dish and people will come back for more! Let me know how it turns out for you.

  • This has been tested by a fellow midwesterner and a native Italian.  Thank you Jenn & Maria Adele
  • Notes from my testers: Jenn ‘s family loves roasting their broccoli so she made this as written and roasted instead of steaming . A great way to add a charred flavor! Yum! Maria blanched her broccoli in her pasta water.  Brilliante!  She cut down her prep time and a great way to flavor that pasta water. Love time saving steps!

orecchiette with sausage and broccoli


Orecchiette with Sausage and Broccoli

Serves 6-8

1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage

1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage

1 lb orecchiette pasta

1/4- 1/2  lb broccoli chopped into small bite size pieces

1/2 cup plus more for finishing Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Pasta water

mixing up the ingredients sausage, broccoli, pasta and pecorino


Brown sausages in a large shallow pan. We like it crispy, so I wait patiently for it to brown, it’s so worth it.  I usually do not have an abundance of excess fat, discard any fat you do not want while browning.  What remains helps make the sauce so delicious.  Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and be liberal with the salt. Once boiling, add orecchiette. Cook to directions on package for al dente finished product. Steam your chopped broccoli and set aside. When sausage is finished to your desired state, add broccoli to the pan, turn off heat or turn down until pasta is ready. When pasta is al dente, reserve some of the pasta water.  Drain pasta and add to sausage and broccoli. Stir together gently, add pasta water to help make the sauce and scrap those bits from the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle in pecorino as you are combining until you have a nice balance of ingredients. Divide into bowls or place in a large serving bowl for family style serving. Top with any  leftover pecorino and enjoy.

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