Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Kale Recipe

Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Kale Recipe

How To Make Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Kale

Make a filling dinner in 30 minutes with this orecchiette pasta recipe. It’s cooked with Italian sausage and kale, served topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes



  • 12ozorecchiette pasta
  • 16ozbulk Italian sausage
  • 1kale,(large bunch), purple or tuscan, de-stemmed and leaves chopped
  • 1large shallot,sliced
  • 2clovesgarlic,sliced
  • ½cupsalted pasta water
  • 1lemon,juice only
  • salt,to taste

For the Crispy Parmesan Breadcrumbs:

  • 2tbspbutter
  • ½cupbreadcrumbs
  • ½cupgrated Parmesan cheese
  • ½tspred pepper flakes,optional


Parmesan Breadcrumbs:

  1. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. In a small bowl, toss together breadcrumbs, parmesan, and red pepper flakes to avoid any huge parmesan clumps.

  2. Pour into skillet and stir to coat with butter. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing occasionally until browned. Set aside until ready to eat.


  1. Fill a large pot with water and set it over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons table salt) per quart of water.

  2. The water should taste seasoned, but not seawater-salty. It’s important to get the salt level right in the water as it will be used to finish the recipe.

  3. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and stir it rapidly to separate the pasta, since the orecchiette has a tendency to stick together.

  4. Cook for 9 to 11 minutes until al dente. Scoop out a cup of the pasta water, then drain and rinse the pasta to stop the cooking.

  5. While the pasta cooks, add the Italian sausage in small chunks to a large skillet over medium heat.

  6. Cook, letting the sausage render out the fat, for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is cooked through.

  7. At this point, there should be enough fat from the sausage in the skillet, but if the skillet is very dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before the next ingredients go in.

  8. Add the chopped kale, shallot, and garlic to the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until kale is wilted.

  9. Add the cooked orecchiette, ½ cup pasta water, and lemon juice to the skillet. Toss to combine and heat until the pasta water thickens to form a light sauce. If the pasta seems dry, add more pasta water.

  10. Serve pasta in shallow bowls garnished with the crispy breadcrumb topper

  11. Store leftovers in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. Reheat in the microwave with a splash of water or over the stove in a skillet on medium-high heat.


  • Calories: 615.04kcal
  • Fat: 32.32g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.28g
  • Trans Fat: 0.16g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 12.97g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.86g
  • Carbohydrates: 55.18g
  • Fiber: 3.76g
  • Sugar: 4.01g
  • Protein: 25.30g
  • Cholesterol: 76.06mg
  • Sodium: 804.24mg
  • Calcium: 233.22mg
  • Potassium: 520.62mg
  • Iron: 2.73mg
  • Vitamin A: 170.64µg
  • Vitamin C: 34.83mg
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