home cooked dinners by the season

Revisiting Orechiette with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Chicken Sausage

Revisiting Orechiette with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Chicken Sausage

Right now it’s all about tomatoes. Ripe, plump, juicy and bursting with the flavor that is really only possible to get this time of year. Yes, we’re lucky they are available all year long, but honestly when tomatoes truly aren’t in season I will take a canned tomato or a sun dried tomato over a fresh one any day.

I’m giving you another look at this recipe I posted back in 2013. The recipe method is simple and with a handful of easy to find ingredients. Maybe it has slipped off your radar considering I first featured it a number of years ago. I have also made a few tweaks that I think make it even better by using less olive oil and pasta and adding a little of the hot pasta cooking water to make it a little more saucy with better sitting quality if you do not serve it right away.

Two additional suggestions to consider. Try other  shapes of pasta such as penne, bow ties or Gemelli and omitting the sausage for a vegetarian version.

Revisiting Orechiette with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Chicken Sausage
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian seasoned chicken sausage, casing removed
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (half a medium size)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 2 large or 3 medium Heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • ⅓ to ½ cup fresh chopped or torn basil leaves
  • 8 ounces Orechiette pasta (or Gemelli, penne or bowties)
  • ⅓ cup reserved hot pasta cooking water
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls or a large ball, cut into bite size pieces
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until cooked through and browned, about 10 minutes. Remove sausage.
  2. In the same skillet, cook onions in ⅓ cup olive oil over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add garlic cooking just to soften but not brown, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in tomatoes and basil and set aside.
  3. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package direction for length of time; just before draining remove ⅓ cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta. Stir hot pasta into the tomatoes and basil, along with the sausage. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add mozzarella (if added when the pasta is hot it gets too melted).


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5 thoughts on “Revisiting Orechiette with Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil and Chicken Sausage”

  • Hi Linda I have all those ingredients sitting on my counter at the beach I can’t wait to try this recipe will be eating this this week I’ve been busy making tomato sauce any ideas for your recipes for tomato sauce I would love

    • I love hearing from you Mary Kay and I hope you enjoy this easy recipe. My favorite simple tomato sauce is from Marcella Hazan’s Italian cookbook. The New York Times has featured it so you could google it and it should come up for you. Thank you for commenting and I look forward to hearing from you again.

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