Recipes

Creamy Pesto Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccolini

January 14, 2021

A quick and easy creamy pesto orecchiette pasta packed with sausage and broccolini that’s perfect for weeknight dinners and date nights at home! Each bowl is decadent and has that perfect added crunch from freshly toasted breadcrumbs.

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This version of creamy pesto pasta is a new favorite of mine for a date night at home! The sour cream helps make the sauce thicker and extra creamy, and the toasted breadcrumbs add a nice texture to each bite.

The pork sausage and broccolini can easily be substituted with any protein and vegetables you have on hand. I tend to use pork sausage (either regular or spicy) since it’s usually already seasoned and adds a lot of flavor. I use the entire broccolini (ends trimmed) since the stems add an additional crunch to the dish.

To make the pasta sauce a little healthier, half and half or milk can be substituted for the heavy cream. If using milk, whole milk would be preferred as 2% or nonfat may be too thin.

Creamy Pesto Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccolini

 


Tiffany AngelaAuthorTiffany AngelaCategoryAmericanDifficultyBeginner


A quick and easy creamy pesto orecchiette pasta packed with sausage and broccolini that's perfect for weeknight dinners and date nights at home! Each bowl is decadent and has that perfect added crunch from freshly toasted breadcrumbs.

Yields6 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time30 mins


Ingredients
 1 bag (16 oz) dried orecchiette pasta (or any short cut pasta)
 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 4 garlic cloves, minced
 1 large shallot, finely diced
 ½ tsp dried basil
 ½ tsp red pepper flakes
 1 lb pork sausage
 2 bunches of broccolini, chopped in 1" pieces
 1 cup heavy cream (can substitute half-and-half or whole milk)
 ½ cup sour cream
 ¼ cup pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade)
 salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs (any type of bread crumbs)
 1 tbsp unsalted butter
 ¼ tsp dried Italian seasoning

Directions
1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve 2 cups of pasta water before draining.

2

In a small nonstick skillet over low heat, add in 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, and 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning. Cook and stir occasionally until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown and are toasted all over (~2-4 minutes). Remove the breadcrumbs from the heat and set aside.

3

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Stir and cook until they start to soften (~4 minutes).

4

Add the pork sausage and break it up with a wooden spatula as it browns. Saute until cooked through (~5 minutes).

5

Stir in 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper. Then, add the chopped broccolini, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the broccolini reaches your desired texture.

6

Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add in 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of sour cream. Stir until evenly combined and bring it up to a simmer. To prevent the sauce from breaking, do not heat up the sauce too fast.

7

Add in the pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Gently mix to combine and keep adding pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce or to cook the pasta through.

Salt and pepper to taste.

8

Top with the toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 bag (16 oz) dried orecchiette pasta (or any short cut pasta)
 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 4 garlic cloves, minced
 1 large shallot, finely diced
 ½ tsp dried basil
 ½ tsp red pepper flakes
 1 lb pork sausage
 2 bunches of broccolini, chopped in 1" pieces
 1 cup heavy cream (can substitute half-and-half or whole milk)
 ½ cup sour cream
 ¼ cup pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade)
 salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs (any type of bread crumbs)
 1 tbsp unsalted butter
 ¼ tsp dried Italian seasoning

Directions

Directions
1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once the pasta is al dente, reserve 2 cups of pasta water before draining.

2

In a small nonstick skillet over low heat, add in 1/2 cup of Panko breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, and 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning. Cook and stir occasionally until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown and are toasted all over (~2-4 minutes). Remove the breadcrumbs from the heat and set aside.

3

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Stir and cook until they start to soften (~4 minutes).

4

Add the pork sausage and break it up with a wooden spatula as it browns. Saute until cooked through (~5 minutes).

5

Stir in 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper. Then, add the chopped broccolini, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the broccolini reaches your desired texture.

6

Turn the heat down to medium-low. Add in 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of sour cream. Stir until evenly combined and bring it up to a simmer. To prevent the sauce from breaking, do not heat up the sauce too fast.

7

Add in the pasta and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Gently mix to combine and keep adding pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce or to cook the pasta through.

Salt and pepper to taste.

8

Top with the toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

Creamy Pesto Orecchiette Pasta with Sausage and Broccolini

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