Italian Sausage & broccoli Orecchiette

Cooking Time:   30 minutes

                                                                                          Servings: 6 people

This traditional dish is from my Husbands region of Italy were the Nona’s sit in the laneways making these gorgeous ear shaped pasta.  It is a simple yet flavourful dish that comes together in no time. It is truly a regular in our household.

Italian Sausage & broccoli Orecchiette


500 grams orecchiette pasta

5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

500 grams Italian sausages, removed from casing

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup chicken stock OR water with 1.5 teaspoons chicken stock powder

5 cups broccoli florets, roughly chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

50 grams salted butter

1/2 cup grated pecorino/parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  1. Place a large pot of water to boil. While waiting for water to boil, in a seperate large sauté pan add olive oil on medium heat. Brown off sausage mince, breaking up any lumps.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and add garlic, stir for a minute until garlic is fragrant. If you like a bit of heat, you can add some chilli flakes or a finely diced red chilli at this point of the cooking process.
  3. Add in stock and broccoli, stir and cook with the lid on for approximately 15 minutes, or until broccoli has completely softened. If you prefer broccoli more firm then by all means cook it until broccoli is to your liking.
  4. Add cracked black pepper. I would avoid adding salt at this point as the sausages and cheese will season the dish quite a bit. Check at the end of the cooking process.
  5. Start cooking the pasta in salted boiling water so you time the pasta cooking at the same time as the broccoli is cooked.
  6. Once broccoli is cooked to your liking, add in the lemon juice and 1/2 a ladle of the salted pasta water.
  7. Drain the pasta and fold through the sauce. Stir in the butter and grated pecorino/parmesan. Taste and if you feel the dish needs more salt add to your liking.

Tips & Substitutions:

  • For a vegetarian option leave sausage mince out.
  • For a chilli option, add either chilli flakes or a finely diced chilli at the same time as the garlic.

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