Orecchiette with pork and fennel sausage and broccolini

Orecchiette with pork and fennel sausage and broccolini.
Pic credit: Vanessa Gordon
Orecchiette with pork and fennel sausage and broccolini. Pic credit: Vanessa Gordon Photo: Vanessa Gordon
Difficulty
Easy

The traditional pasta of Puglia, orecchiette or “little ears” are paired simply here with pork and fennel sausage and broccolini.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

½ tsp fennel seeds

4 Italian-style pork and fennel sausages

pinch sea salt and black pepper

pinch chilli flakes

60ml dry white wine, e.g. pinot grigio

30g unsalted butter

1 bunch broccolini, chopped into thirds

400g orecchiette

finely grated pecorino cheese to serve

Method

In a saute pan, heat olive oil with garlic and fennel seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

Remove sausages from casings, add the meat to the pan and break apart with a wooden spoon over medium heat. Add salt to help the meat release its juices, along with pepper and a pinch of chilli flakes. 

Once the sausage meat is cooked, about 8-10 minutes, add a splash of white wine and scrape up the caramelised bits on the bottom of the pan, then add the butter and stir through.

Cook pasta in plenty of salted water according to packet instructions. Add broccolini to the boiling water for the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Drain the pasta and broccolini, saving a ladle of the pasta cooking water. Transfer pasta and broccolini to the saute pan, along with reserved pasta water. Toss everything together then season to taste.

Divide pasta among bowls, topping with a generous amount of grated pecorino.