It's one of those dishes I always come back to for more. Best thing is, there is room to tweak it a bit to suit your style. The type of sausage you use will greatly affect the taste of the whole dish. I'm partial to Sicilian-style chicken sausage for this recipe. Garnish each bowl with Parmesan cheese.

Staci

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
1 hr 31 mins
total:
2 hrs 1 min
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion starts to soften, about 2 minutes.

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  • Increase heat to high and add pancetta to the skillet. Cook and stir until crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove casings from the sausages; add sausage meat to skillet. Cook and stir until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the skillet.

  • Toss mushrooms into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick, 1 to 2 hours.

  • Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in orecchiette and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender yet firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water and drain without rinsing the pasta.

  • Stir spinach into the sauce in the skillet. Cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Toss pasta into the skillet and stir to combine everything. Stir until heated through, adding some reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too thick.

Cook's Notes:

Fresh tomatoes are really key here, but the cherry tomatoes can be pricey. You can use Roma tomatoes, just make sure they are very ripe. Or, worst case, go with canned.

If you can't find orecchiette pasta, you can use small shells instead.

Nutrition Facts

400 calories; protein 16.3g; carbohydrates 47g; fat 15.7g; cholesterol 29.4mg; sodium 498.3mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (9)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
09/06/2018
9-5-2018 What luck to come up with something so good and satisfying using everything I already had on hand Italian sausage and pancetta in the freezer (um always) red wine on the counter (um always) spinach and mushrooms in the fridge and fresh herbs and tomatoes in the garden. No changes but for my own tastes I prefer much less of the sauce stuff to pasta ratio easy enough to adjust to one s own preference. Topped it off of course with a generous sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Clean plates tonight. Read More
(5)
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
09/06/2018
9-5-2018 What luck to come up with something so good and satisfying using everything I already had on hand Italian sausage and pancetta in the freezer (um always) red wine on the counter (um always) spinach and mushrooms in the fridge and fresh herbs and tomatoes in the garden. No changes but for my own tastes I prefer much less of the sauce stuff to pasta ratio easy enough to adjust to one s own preference. Topped it off of course with a generous sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Clean plates tonight. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
09/11/2018
YES, this is the one! I have been making a few orecchiette recipes and thought this one might be ok, it turned out GREAT! Now you are waiting for the eighteen changes and adds I made to make it so good. Well wait no longer! I made this recipe the way it was called for, only halving the portion and I did add some more tomatoes halfway through the simmering. The recipe turned out terrific and we will definitely be making this again! Thank you Staci! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2017
Wonderful... The family really enjoyed it! I used sweet Italian sausage. Otherwise...followed all directions and ingredients. Served it with garlic bread and a salad. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/27/2018
The flavor was awesome even though mine turned out way too salty! I contribute this to the fact that I used prosciutto instead of the pancetta and I think the chicken sausage was salty too so this is not the fault of the recipe....thus the 5 stars! Would definitely like to try this recipe again only this time correcting my mistakes! 10-26-18 Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
09/03/2018
Delicious. I used Earth Balance instead of butter( dairy issues) I used my tomatoes and herbs out of the garden. I used Mild Italian Sausage. The only thing I scaled back was the pasta I used 3/4 of the package but left everything else the same. The Orecchiette took 12 minutes to cook.Great dish enjoyed by all. Will make again. Sept. 2018. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
09/30/2019
I will make this again. I used several types and sizes of tomatoes from my garden, Spicy pork sausage and added extra mushrooms. Cooked the sauce for about 90 minutes. My house smelled amazing while cooking and the taste of the completed dish was even better! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2018
Used a pineapple bacon sausage just cut into discs - new family fave! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/22/2021
was Delish. However, Hold off on putting the garlic in with the onions. the next step is to increase heat to high and crisp panchetta which takes longer than 5 minutes. Garlic burns to bitter no matter how much you stir. Also no mention if pasta was fresh, recipe states 7 minutes my box said 12 minute to al dente . otherwise perfection will make again for sure Read More
Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2020
I made this with the following changes: I used mild pork Italian sausage because that's what I had on hand, and 5 ripe Roma tomatoes, again - because that's what I had on hand. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. It was fabulous. I love tomatoes and will probably add an extra tomato or two next time I make it (for a little more sauciness) and would love to try it with the chicken sausage from Trader Joes. Absolutely delicious! Read More
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