30 Minute Meals · Pasta · Poultry · Recipes

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

For my birthday (which was many moons ago now) my Mister bought me a gift card to this amazing European market in Boulder.  I finally went shopping and purchased some orecchiette imported from Italy.  Now if you’ve never had orecchiette, think of them as tiny pasta bowls.

In Italian ‘orecchio‘ means ‘ear,’ and the suffix ‘etto’ means ‘small’ because these resemble the shape of small ears.  Which, I admit, sounds a bit weird at first, but after you take a bite of orecchiette brimming with delicious sauce, you’ll understand why this pasta is so good.

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 666

Fat per serving: 26g

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage


  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fully cooked Italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)


  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).

Recipe adapted from Real Simple.

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