Orecchiette with Italian Sausage, Roasted Tomato, and Ricotta Salata (Recipe)

How to make this recipe, courtesy of Chef Shea Gallante of Italian Kitchen restaurant in Ardsley



Photography by Andre Baranowski

Orecchiette with Italian Sausage, Roasted Tomato, and Ricotta Salata
Serves 6

MAKE THE PASTA

  • 8 oz durum wheat flour (available online at King Arthur Flour, kingarthurflour.com)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Combine the ingredients and mix either by hand or in a stand mixer until they are fully incorporated. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Roll out pasta (by hand or with a machine) into thin sheets and cut into circles out using a 1” round cutter. Make a thumb print in each and reserve.

PREPARE THE SAUCE

  • 3 10-oz packs cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup + 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 turns pepper (from a peppermill)
  • 4 basil leaves, torn
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 Tbsp toasted breadcrumbs
  • ½ lb sweet or hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 3½ oz ricotta salata

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, basil leaves, sliced garlic, and thyme and spread them onto a sheet pan in a single layer. Sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Roast until the tomato skins have split and the tomatoes have shrunk, about 35 minutes. Remove the basil and thyme. In a hot sauté pan, brown the sausage until it is thoroughly crumbled and browned, about the size of marbles. Grate the ricotta salata. Set aside.

FINISH THE PASTA

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp minced shallots
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pasta cooking water

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil over medium heat in a wide saucepan and add the minced shallots. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened. Season with salt and pepper. When tender, add the garlic and swirl in the pan. Add the chicken stock and butter and bring to a boil to emulsify. Add the tomatoes and their juices, crumbled sausage, remaining oil, ¼ cup of Parmesan, and ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water. Stir gently to incorporate.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and give it a stir. Cook orecchiette until they rise to the surface and are just tender to the bite. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Add the ½ cup of torn basil, remaining grated Parmesan, and half of the ricotta salata. Toss to combine and season with pepper (and salt, if necessary). Top with the reserved ricotta salata and serve.

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