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Orecchiette with Sausage and Spinach


  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 large bunch scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 14 oz. cans cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lb orecchiette
  • 5 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup powdered parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon until browned - about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the scallion whites, pressed garlic and rosemary and cook for a couple of minutes, until the scallions begin to wilt.
  • Add the two cans of tomatoes with their juices , 1 cup of the boiling water and sugar, salt and pepper.  Let the sauce simmer while you cook the pasta.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as the label instructs for al dente.  Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, then strain the pasta.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the tomato sauce along with the fresh chopped spinach and half of the scallion greens.  Toss to coat the pasta and wilt the spinach, about 1 minute, gradually adding the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen.  Remove from the heat.
  • Sprinkle the cheese over the pasta and toss well.  Serve the pasta with the remaining scallion greens sprinkled on top.


Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine, March 2019.