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This simple orecchiette with sausage and spinach recipe has a tasty Italian sausage, spinach, garlic, and white wine sauce. It’s on your table in about 30 minutes!
Why you’ll love it
This orecchiette pasta is an easy recipe that feels fancy but takes only half an hour to make. It’s actually kind of amazing just how much rich taste is packed into this pasta since it has very few ingredients!
Did you know that orecchiette literally translates to “little ears”? I don’t cook with it very often, but it’s definitely a fun pasta shape to keep in your pantry. I think you’ll love this orecchiette pasta recipe since it’s the ideal pasta shape to hold the tasty white wine sauce from scratch.
What you’ll need
- Orecchiette – you can use any shape you prefer, preferably a smaller one, but it’s worth using orecchiette here if you can find it! They’re perfect little bowls for the sauce.
- Italian sausage – I used mild, but you could use hot to kick it up a notch
- Onion and garlic – I like using sweet (Vidalia) onions
- Dijon mustard – it isn’t overpowering, and it’s my favorite way to infuse a fantastic savory quality
- White wine – I recommend using a good dry white wine that you’d actually drink (not cooking wine). Try a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.
- Spinach – a pop of freshness
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
How to make orecchiette with sausage
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, add the crumbled sausage and onion to a skillet. Cook until nicely browned. Stir in the garlic, followed by the Dijon mustard and then the white wine.
Let it reduce for a minute or two, then add in the spinach and toss until wilted. Add the drained pasta, toss again, and season with salt & pepper. Serve with freshly grated parmesan if using.
Substitutions and variations
- If you want some spice, use hot Italian sausage and/or add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
- You could swap the wine for chicken broth if you need to. In that case, you may want to double the Dijon mustard.
- This recipe is very flexible. You could throw in mushrooms or other veggies if you happen to have some that need using up to make this sauce for orecchiette your own.
- There is no cream in this recipe, but adding a splash towards the end of cooking would be a tasty addition.
- You can absolutely use kale or broccoli rabe instead of the spinach!
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers of this pasta will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- If you want to freeze leftovers, keep in mind the pasta and spinach won’t be as good thawed as when freshly made, but it should be ok.
- Reheat over a low heat in a small saucepan until warmed through.
Hope you love this easy orecchiette pasta recipe! Questions? Did you make it? Leave me a star rating and review below! You can also find me on Instagram.
Orecchiette with Sausage and Spinach
- 8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
- 16 ounces Italian sausage see note
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil optional
- Salt & pepper to taste
- For serving: freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste
- Boil a large salted pot of water and cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, add the sausage meat and onion to a skillet, and sauté over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes or until it's cooked through and nicely browned. If there's more than about 1-2 tablespoons of fat left in the skillet, spoon out the excess, but be sure to leave some since we're not adding any extra butter or oil.
- Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the garlic and Dijon mustard, and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add in the spinach and basil (if using). Toss, using tongs or two large spoons, until the spinach has wilted, then add in the drained pasta and toss again.
- Season with salt & pepper as needed. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese over top if desired.
- Use either ground sausage meat or buy sausages and take the meat out of the casings. There is quite a lot of sausage in the sauce, so you could definitely get away with using a bit less than the full pound.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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