Orecchiette with Fennel Pesto

By / Photography By Louie Rousso | November 05, 2016

About this recipe



1 bunch broccolini 

1 pound orecchiette 

1 teaspoon oil 

1 pound sweet or spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing and crumbled 

½–¾ cup Fennel Frond Pesto  

½ cup pasta cooking water 

Pecorino cheese 



Rinse broccolini and trim the ends. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add broccolini stalks, blanch for 1 minute. Use tongs to remove from water and rinse immediately under cold water to stop the cooking process (this preserves the bright green color and crunch of the vegetable). Once cooled, towel dry and chop into 1 in pieces. Bring the water back up to a boil. Using the same water, cook the orecchiette according to the package instructions. Strain pasta and reserve ½ cup of cooking water. 

In a large sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil; add sausage crumbles and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add in chopped broccolini. Remove from heat and add in cooked orecchiette and pesto, stir until well combined. Add in reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce. Garnish with freshly grated pecorino.  

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