Spicy Sausage Orecchiette

Looking for an outrageously easy homemade pasta? Our sausage orecchiette pasta is the one for you.

Done in 2 hours

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Using not one, not two but three types of sausage gives this pasta sauce all the flavours - richness, spice and complex from the n'duja. Sprinkled with crisp sage leaves and crunchy pieces of chorizo it's also a textural and aromatic exquisite symphony. As if that weren't enough, the pasta shape is outrageously simple, demanding no more equipment than a knife. Stunning!


Thoroughly clean your worksurface. Whisk the salt into the semolina then pour it onto the surface in a big pile. Use your fingers to make a well with deep high sides.

Pour the water into the well and use a fork or your fingers to gradually incorporate the flour into the water in the middle. Keep it up until you have a shaggy mess, then start kneading it together until you've got a smooth dough.

Knead for a further 15 minutes. The dough will be stiff - don't worry as it'll hydrate when it rests. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it to sit for 30 mins.

When ready to use, slice off a quarter and roll it into a snake. Cut 2cm pieces and roll them flat with a knife, dragging the blade towards you and pushing down slightly until you have a dome shape - use a thumb to deepen the dome. Repeat with the remaining dough and set aside on a lightly floured board so they don't stick.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce! Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and fry the chorizo pieces until crisp. The oil should have turned a beautiful crimson. Remove the chorizo pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside to garnish with later.

Add the sausage pieces and fry until browned, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, then remove and set aside. Add the shallots and garlic then cook for a further 5 minutes until soft, then add the tomato puree and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the white wine, allow to reduce for a few minutes then add the tomatoes. Reduce for around 10 - 15 minutes over a medium heat and add the n'duja, stirring to make sure it's completely combined. Pop the sausages back in and cook over a low heat for another 30 - 40 minutes until they've softened and everything have combined to make a delicious sauce. Add the butter and stir for a final 10 minutes.

Make the crispy sage leaves by gently frying whole leaves in olive oil for around 20 seconds until crisp. Blot with kitchen towel then set aside and season with salt.

Cook the orecchiette in boiling salted water until cooked through with a little bit of bite - they'll rise to the top of the water when done, but try a few to make sure they are cooked to your liking. Reserve some of the water then toss the sauce through the pasta. Add the grated parmesan then serve up with the sage leaves.

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Hugh Woodward

Hugh Woodward

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