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.
Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Spinach
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.
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- Calories: 442
- Calories from fat: 35%
- Protein: 18g
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated fat: 8.3g
- Carbohydrate: 55g
- Fiber: 5g
- Sodium: 726mg
- Cholesterol: 66mg
- 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)
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and chopped
- 8 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 3 packed cups), rinsed
- 4 ounces ricotta salata cheese, thinly sliced or crumbled (see notes)
- 1. 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.
- 2. 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.
- 3. 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.
- 4. Add tomatoes and spinach; stir until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
- 5. In a large bowl, mix pasta and sauce to coat; top with ricotta salata.
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