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Creamy Orecchiette with Hot Sausage, Broccoli & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Creamy Orecchiette with Hot Sausage, Broccoli & Sun-Dried Tomatoes


  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausages, casings removed

  • 2 cups chopped broccoli crowns or broccolini

  • 1 small red or white onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped

  • 3 tbsp. sun-dried tomato paste

  • ½ cup white wine or red wine

  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • Salt

  • 1 lb. orecchiette or other short cut pasta

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Crushed red pepper or black pepper, to taste

  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn or cut into thin ribbons


Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. 

Step 2

In a small bowl, cover the sundried tomatoes with very hot water. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse, then chop or thinly slice. 

Step 3

In a large skillet, heat the oil, two turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the sausages; cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and onion. Cook, stirring often, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste turns a shade darker, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and oregano. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer the sauce until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the cream. Reduce heat to low. Season the sauce with salt and let simmer while you cook the pasta. 

Step 4

Salt the boiling water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 minute shy of the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta and Parm to the sauce. Add the cooking water if the pasta is dry. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. 

Step 5

Divide among bowls or serve in a large bowl. Top with the basil.