Notes: Look for high-quality fresh sausage; the casings will be easier to remove. Ricotta salata is available at specialty food stores and some well-stocked supermarkets; if you can't find it, substitute 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese.
12 ounces dried orecchiette pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon hot chili flakes
8 ounces chicken sausages, removed from casings and crumbled (see notes)
4 ounces ricotta salata cheese, thinly sliced or crumbled (see notes)
How to Make It
In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender to bite, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a 12-inch frying pan or a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and stir often until lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes.
Lower heat to medium and add garlic, chili flakes, and crumbled chicken sausages. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up sausage if necessary, until meat is beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes; if garlic begins to scorch, lower heat.
Add tomatoes and spinach; stir until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix pasta and sauce to coat; top with ricotta salata.
This recipe was SO delicious and easy. I had spinach and orecchiette on hand and wanted to find a good recipe to use both and I am so happy I found this. I wouldn't think to put tomatoes in this recipe but they really helped to make a thicker 'sauce' which I enjoyed. I also used parmesan cheese instead of ricotta salada, but that is just what I had on hand - this will absolutely be in my weekly repertoire going forward.
This is one of my all time favorite weeknight recipes. It is so easy to prepare, yet so flavorful. My whole family is crazy for it...and I have been making it for many years. It's easy to modify with other fresh vegetables you have on hand. I've always used feta cheese, although one day I'll get the fresh ricotta salada to make it with....Yum!
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