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Orecchiette with Sausage and Arugula

4 - 6 Servings

30 minutes

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A ragu of ground pork and wild fennel that we tasted in Sardinia served as the inspiration for this quick and easy pasta dish. Dry vermouth and citrusy lemon zest perfectly balance the richness of the Italian sausage and the pepperiness of baby arugula. Orecchiette, a coin-sized, saucer-shaped pasta, is ideal for catching flavorful bits of sausage, scallions and fennel seeds; if you can't find orecchiette, small shells and cavatelli work well, too.

4 - 6



Don't forget to reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water before draining the pasta. You will need it to build the sauce.

30 minutes



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Susan K.
March 14, 2024
I made this dish because I had a big box of arugula that had to be used soon. I’m so glad I did! I used turkey sausage from my local farmer. This was amazing to say the least! I didn’t have to remove the sausage after browning because there was hardly any fat.
Jack D.
April 15, 2023
Wonderful, delicious dish
made this many times, sometimes substituted chicken or spinach always delish.
Monica F.
October 3, 2022
Needed a lil extra something
Like others said, this dish benefitted from the addition of a bit more zest and some lemon juice. Without it the flavor was just a little underwhelming. Otherwise though I liked how easy and balanced this dish was.
Anne H.

A pleasantly light pasta dish - there is a nice ratio of pasta to sausage to arugula. I try to not deviate from recipes the first time I try them, but here I used twice the amount of lemon zest simply because that’s how much one of my lemons produced. I’d likely do that again, because it tasted like the ideal amount (IMO) to brighten the dish.
Thanks for another delicious recipe.

Sarah F.

Very easy to make so a win in that sense. Flavors grow on you as you eat it, but it's a bit simple tasting.

Alexandra N.

I added a little butter, extra lemon zest, and lemon juice as a final step when making this pasta. Without those extra ingredients, I found the pasta to be a little TOO arugula-forward/bitter (and I am a major arugula lover). The butter and lemon mellowed those flavors out just enough but you still get a yummy arugula and fennel taste in every bite.

Pam L.

Really liked this one. Followed the recipe, but then added some Calabrian chili sauce at the end. Delicious!

Tracy K.

I enjoyed this recipe. I did it while learning how to use my induction stove top and learning that my pasta pot did not get to a rolling boil. Since I did not want a sludgy mess, I had to switch pasta pots midstream. Meaning the timing of everything else was pretty much thrown to the dogs. This recipe is forgiving. After switching pots and burners and reducing ad nauseum (isn't dinner ready yet) I can tell you that it was delicious. My derivations from the recipe were as follows, switched out white wine/vermouth for chicken stock with juice of half a lemon. Added juice of half a lemon at the end to brighten the flavors. The verdict? My husband, "it's okay."...damned by faint praise, my teen-aged daughter, "I don't like sausage, I will make tofu stir fry can you cut the garlic...." but the boy, my 19 year old, who probably is a super taster, said " it was good, the only suggestion I have is break down the sausage more when you brown it so it incorporates more into the sauce." He ate the arugala! Victory is mine!!!!!