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.

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 4. Add tomatoes and spinach; stir until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
  5. 5. In a large bowl, mix pasta and sauce to coat; top with ricotta salata.
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