Crispy Orecchiette With Spicy Sausage & Collard Ragu
Crispy Orecchiette With Spicy Sausage & Collard Ragu

Crispy Orecchiette With Spicy Sausage & Collard Ragu

The reason this pasta dish is so delicious is because you take a tiny final step to crisp up the cooked orecchiette before it goes into its spicy sausage ragu. A few minutes, one extra skillet, that’s all it takes. You’ll use only a half pound of pasta for this dish because it’s loaded with greens and sausage and burrata, but it's still perfectly filling.
Photography: PEDEN + MUNK

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Total Time
40 Minutes
3 large shallots
1 bunch of collard greens
1 lemon
2oz of grated parmigiano reggiano, plus more for serving
5oz of burrata cheese (optional)
1lb of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
Kosher salt
8oz of orecchiette
6 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
¼ cup of tomato paste
3-4 tbsp of chopped jarred Calabrian chiles
Step 1

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. (Big handful of salt in there, please!) Thinly slice 3 large shallots. Strip the leaves off 1 bunch of collard greens and slice crosswise into 1in-wide strips. Discard the stems.

Step 2

Drop 8oz of orecchiette into the boiling water, give it a stir, and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Scoop out a few cups of pasta water before draining it (you’ll need quite a bit to help cook down the greens). Drizzle the drained pasta lightly with olive oil so it doesn’t clump together as it sits.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven, heat several tablespoons of olive oil over medium- high heat. Once the oil is very hot, add 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, breaking it into large, golf ball-size chunks as you add it. Cook, undisturbed, until well browned, 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the sausage pieces and brown on the second side, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Step 4

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the shallots and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until jammy and cooked down, 4 minutes.

Step 5

Stir in ¼ cup of tomato paste and 4 tablespoons of chopped Calabrian chiles (hold some back if you're spice averse) and stir to evenly coat the aromatics. Continue to cook, stirring, until the tomato paste begins to stick to the pot, 4-5 minutes.

Step 6

Add the collard greens and a few big splashes of the reserved pasta water (this will help to steam and wilt the greens). Stir well, cover the pot, and cook until the greens are cooked down and tender (taste one, you’ll know!), 4-5 minutes. Add more pasta water as needed if the pot gets dry. The ragu should be nice and saucy at the end. Remove from the heat and keep covered.

Step 7

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add about half of the cooked pasta to the skillet and cook, undisturbed, until the bottom is golden brown and crisp at the edges, 3-4 minutes. Add to the pot of ragu and repeat with the remaining pasta. When in doubt, refry.

Step 8

Return the pot to medium heat. Add the sausage back in, breaking it into smaller pieces as you do, along with a big splash of the reserved pasta water and a few big handfuls of grated parmesan. Cook, stirring vigorously, until a thick sauce coats the pasta, 30 seconds.

Step 9

Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the pasta and stir to combine.

Step 10

Divide the pasta among serving bowls. Tear 5oz of burrata (if using) into small pieces and top each bowl with a few. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with more parmesan, and serve.

More is More: Get Loose in the Kitchen by Molly Baz (Murdoch Books, £26). Photography by Peden + Munk

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily