There’s nothing quite like the pleasure of creating a hearty, comforting meal from scratch, one that not only satisfies your cravings but also warms your soul.
Today, we’re delving into a deliciously inviting recipe that does just that. This is Orecchiette with sausage and spinach.
Derived from the Italian word ‘orecchia’ meaning ‘ear,’ Orecchiette pasta gets its name from its distinct ear-like shape, making it the perfect carrier for our robust, flavor-packed sauce.
Coupled with the zesty kick of Jack Link’s Cheddar Wild Side Sausages, the tangy blend of cheddar and goat cheese, the refreshing notes of spinach, and the earthy depth of tomatoes. This dish truly embodies the essence of home-style cooking.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook looking to try out a new recipe or a beginner hoping to impress your loved ones, this guide will lead you through each step.
The Allure of This Recipe
The tantalizing allure of our Orecchiette with sausage and spinach lies not just in its delightful medley of flavors, but also in the experience of crafting such a masterpiece from scratch.
The sensory journey begins the moment you slice into the Jack Link’s Cheddar Wild Side Sausages. Releasing an irresistible aroma that truly sets the tone for this culinary adventure.
From the instant the sausage sizzles in the pan, mingling with the fragrant onion and garlic, to the moment the cheese melts into a smooth, creamy sauce. Every step of this recipe invites you to appreciate the art of cooking.
The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity yet depth of flavor, turning everyday ingredients into a wholesome, satisfying meal.
Essential Elements for a Perfect Dish
The charm of our Orecchiette with sausage and spinach lies in the careful selection of ingredients, each playing a vital role in transforming this dish into a memorable meal.
We begin with the star of our show, Jack Link’s Cheddar Wild Side Sausages. These offer a delectable twist to regular sausages with their infusion of cheddar. Delivering a savory kick that adds depth and character to our pasta dish.
Next, our choice of cheeses creates a harmonious blend of flavors. The cheddar lends a familiar, rich creaminess, while the goat cheese introduces a hint of tanginess that uplifts the dish, preventing it from becoming overly heavy.
The spinach brings a refreshing balance to the recipe. With its delicate texture and mild flavor. It not only adds a healthful touch, but also beautifully complements the heartiness of the sausage and the richness of the cheese.
Our use of diced tomatoes introduces a sweet, acidic contrast that works wonderfully against the cheese and sausage. While the chicken broth lends a subtle, savory depth that ties the flavors together.
The olive oil, onion, and garlic form the base of our flavor profile. Their aromas combining to create a fragrant foundation that sets the stage for the rest of the ingredients.
Finally, the Orecchiette pasta, with its unique ear-shaped design, cradles the sauce beautifully, ensuring each bite is packed full of the sausage, spinach, and cheesy goodness.
Making the Recipe
Creating the Orecchiette with sausage and spinach is a joyous journey that navigates through simple steps and yet evolves into a meal full of complex flavors.
We start with cooking the Orecchiette pasta as per the package instructions. Remember, you want the pasta to be al dente, a state where it’s cooked to be firm when bitten. This ensures the pasta retains its shape and texture when mixed with the sauce.
Next, we move on to slicing our Jack Link’s Cheddar Wild Side Sausages. Each slice takes on a delightful crispness as it browns, releasing savory notes that form the backbone of our sauce.
This process takes place in a large pot preheated over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil, encouraging those beautiful sear marks on the sausages.
The diced onion and minced garlic join the party next. Their aromatic qualities permeating the air and signaling that something wonderful is being created.
A quick sauté until the onion becomes translucent is all it takes to build a robust flavor foundation.
The chicken broth and diced tomatoes are added to this fragrant mixture, transforming it into a simmering sauce that begins to tease your senses. It’s at this stage that we add our cheeses.
One cup of cheddar and all the goat cheese. As they melt and mingle with the broth and tomatoes, a rich, creamy, and flavorful sauce takes form.
The final touches to our sauce include simmering it until it thickens slightly and stirring in our spinach. The heat gently wilts the spinach, integrating its fresh notes into the rich sauce.
Once the sauce is ready, our perfectly cooked and drained pasta is added. A gentle stir ensures the Orecchiette is evenly coated, encapsulating all the flavors in its distinct shape.
Variations and Substitutions
If you have a palate that is a bit more complex, there are some substitutes you can use to make different variations of the recipe.
- If you don’t like or even have spinach, change it up with some broccoli or kale.
- Want to add some more favorites? Throw in some other veggies or even mushrooms to make it your own.
- Adding some wine is also a great way to add more of a complex taste. But remove the broth in equal amounts to whatever wine you add.
- Like a bit of spice? This recipe works great with some red pepper flakes or even Spicy Italian sausage.
Creating a delicious dish is one thing, but knowing that it’s packed with nutritional benefits makes the meal even more satisfying. Our Orecchiette with sausage and spinach isn’t just a delight for the taste buds! It also offers a range of nutrients to fuel your body.
Beginning with the sausages, these are an excellent source of protein, which is vital for building and repairing tissues in your body.
Protein also helps you feel fuller for longer, making this dish a great choice if you’re looking for a satisfying meal.
The duo of cheeses, cheddar and goat, contributes a good dose of calcium, an essential mineral for strong, healthy bones.
Additionally, cheese is rich in protein and other vital nutrients such as vitamin A, which plays a crucial role in maintaining your vision and immune system.
Spinach is a green powerhouse, packed with vitamins and minerals. Notably, it’s rich in iron, which supports the production of red blood cells, and vitamin K, which is important for bone health.
Moreover, spinach contains a good amount of dietary fiber, promoting a healthy digestive system.
The diced tomatoes add a wealth of antioxidants, including lycopene, known for its potential health benefits like reducing the risk of heart diseases. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, crucial for a healthy immune system.
Mastering the Art of Leftovers
While our Orecchiette with sausage and spinach recipe is perfect for a meal fresh off the stove, we understand that sometimes there may be leftovers. Fear not, because this dish is just as delightful reheated, provided you store it properly.
Wrap up your meal, let any leftover noodles cool off. Next, pop them into a sealed container.
Why is this important, you ask? It’s the secret to keeping your dish tasting fresh and avoiding any food safety issues. It’s all about stopping those pesky bacteria from multiplying.
Ever wonder how long those leftovers are good for? You’ve got a window of about 3 to 4 days if you tuck them in the fridge. Now, let’s talk about reheating options.
If you’re pressed for time, the microwave is your best bet. Move the pasta to a dish that’s safe for nuking. A light cover (to stop any messy explosions) and you’re set. Warm it up in 60-second bursts, giving it a good stir each time until it’s piping hot.
Got a few extra minutes? The stovetop method might be up your alley. Get a saucepan, dump your pasta in and crank up the heat to medium.
Add a tiny bit of water or chicken broth to keep it moist and stir it up until it’s warmed up just right.
Orecchiette With Sausage And Spinach
- 2 Pack Jack Link’s Cheddar Wild Side Sausages
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- 4 Cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 Lb Orecchiette pasta
- 4 Cups Raw spinach
- 1 Can Diced tomatoes
- 1 Cup Chicken broth
- 2 Cups Cheddar cheese
- 4 Oz Goat cheese
- Cook Orecchiette Pasta, according to directions on package.
- While the pasta is cooking, slice sausages in pieces.
- Preheat large pot over medium/high heat. Add olive oil.
- Add sausage to pot and brown sausage on both sides, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Slowly pour in chicken broth and diced tomatoes, bring to a simmer.
- Add 1 cup cheddar cheese and all of the goat cheese, stirring well to combine.
- Continue simmering for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Stir in spinach until wilted and then add in drained pasta.
- Mix well to combine the sauce with the pasta.
- Serve with remaining cheddar cheese on the side.