Spicy Sausage and Arugula over Orecchiette

Spicy Sausage Recipe

As most trips to the grocery or, in this case, a bakery end up, I'm often left with an odd assortment of purchases. Sometimes it's dog food and chamomile tea or cocoa powder and flowers. On this particular day, I left with a cannoli and spicy sausages.

Sausages are those things that you didn't know you missed until you had them in the most perfect way. So naturally when I went to La Bella Italia—yes again—to settle a sweet tooth, I had to pick up a couple of their homemade sausages. During my year of pescetarianism I only dreamt of hamburgers. It wasn't bacon or a buttery filet mignon; it was those juicy hamburgers smothered in dijon. Maybe I just have an odd palate.

I had no plan in mind upon purchasing the sausages, so I sought out what I already had in my kitchen: arugula, pasta, cheese and an onion. Little did I know, I’d come up with this spicy, rich dish over orecchiette. I used this recipe for guidance.

What’s orecchiette, you ask? Simply put, they are the little ears of  the pasta world. Their concave shape nestles any dish’s gooey sauce to pack the most scrumptious bite while giving a voice to every flavor. The sausage had a slight kick, but its flavors were further elevated with the nutty arugula and cheese. I used grated pecorino romano instead of the suggested parmesan, which created an overall earthy bite.

This was truly a simple and easily prepared dish that it may make its way into our weekly rotation. Local tomatoes and greens would kick it up a notch as well. The weekly summer Farmers Market can't come soon enough!


1/2 yellow onion, diced

olive oil for onions

2 spicy italian sausages (about 1/2 lb)

1 cup orecchiette pasta

A handful of raw arugula

½ cup grated pecorino

salt and pepper


Begin by slicing the sausages. This allows them to cook evenly and quickly while also avoiding having to cut them in the pan.

Add olive oil to a pan and lightly brown onions on medium heat for five minutes. Don't overdo this step since they'll be over the heat during the remainder of the time. Add sliced sausage to pan and cook until done, about 8 minutes.

Boil water and cook pasta until al dente. Strain and add to sausage and onion mixture. Reserve pasta water to make cheese sauce.

Once sausage is cooked through, add pasta. Add cheese to mixture, and ladle in water until your preferred cheesy consistency is reached. Salt and pepper to taste. Drop a handful of arugula into pan and stir until wilted. Serve immediately, though this is especially delicious the following day.

Servings: 4

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