sausage and zucchini orecchiette
This sausage and zucchini orecchiette is a delicious and simple supper that invites vegetables and fresh herbs to mingle with perfectly cooked pasta. Orecchiette, meaning little ears, refers to the pasta shape that cups slightly and perfectly carries bites of cooked sausage to your mouth. I love the spice of the chili flakes and sausage combined with the fresh acidity of lemon juice and parsley in this easy weeknight dinner.
This recipe was featured in my August 2018 edition of Supper Club magazine. Get your free issue that includes the full shopping list for this delightful pasta dish!
- 1 pound orecchiette
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 zucchini, diced
- 10 ounces uncooked pork sausage, casings removed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 4 ounces frozen peas, don’t defrost
- 1 large bunch (about 1 cup) fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- Juice of 3–4 lemons
- ½ Cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil – taste the water and add salt until it tastes like the sea, 2-3 Tablespoons.
- Cook the orecchiette according to package directions, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, and drain the remainder of the pasta in a colander.
- While the water comes to a boil, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan with tall sides over medium heat. Add the zucchini in a single layer (do this in batches if necessary) and saute until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Season the zucchini with salt and transfer the cooked zucchini to a plate.
- Add 1 Tablespoon more of olive oil to the now empty saucepan, add the sausage and cook over medium heat. Break the sausage up into small pieces with a wooden spoon and heat until the sausage is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and red chili flakes to the sausage and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the reserved pasta water and simmer until half of the water has evaporated. Use your wooden spoon to scrape up any pieces of food stuck to the bottom of the pan. This will flavor the sauce.
- Add the hot, cooked pasta and the zucchini to the sausage. Toss the frozen peas in with the hot pasta.
- Add the chopped parsley and juice of three lemons to the pasta, toss to combine.
- Off the heat, toss in the 1/2 cup parmesan. Taste the pasta and add more lemon juice and/or salt if necessary.
- Serve with extra parmesan.