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I enjoy making this on Friday nights while drinking a great Chianti. You can substitute arugula or broccoli rabe for the dandelion greens, if desired. You can substitute pistachios for the pine nuts, if desired.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
25 mins
45 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add dandelion greens and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving water in the pot.

  • Return dandelion cooking water to a boil; add orecchiette and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

  • Process 3/4 of the dandelion greens in a food processor until finely chopped. Add Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, mascarpone cheese, and olive oil; process until pesto is smooth. Season pesto with salt and black pepper.

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir sausage in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir orecchiette, dandelion pesto, reserved pasta water, and remaining dandelion greens into sausage; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts

705 calories; protein 27.2g; carbohydrates 74.7g; fat 36g; cholesterol 47mg; sodium 642.5mg. Full Nutrition