An absolute favorite among friends, complex in flavor but super simple to make! We prefer using hot Italian sausage juxtaposed against the cooling fresh mozzarella. Lightly tossed (not cooked) cherry tomatoes and fresh Arugula adds brightness and shavings of Pecorino Romano a yummy nuttiness. If you're feeling adventurous, or just like things kicked up a bit, sprinkle the dish with a little extra red pepper flake. Finish with a generous pour of great unfiltered olive oil. This is a dish you'll want to make over and over again!
Orchiette Rustica with Two Cheeses
- 1 pound Orchiette Pasta
- 2 links Hot Italian Sausage, sub with mild if you prefer
- 1/2 cup sweet Yellow Onion, diced small
- 3 cloves Garlic, sliced thinly
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus drizzle garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
- 5 ounces baby Arugula, use easy pre washed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, plus 1 tsp in the pasta water
- 2 medium balls Fresh Mozzarella, torn into chunks
- 1/2 cup Romano cheese, shaved
- 1 pinch Sea Salt, at plating; optional
Bring a pot of water to boil, add 1 teaspoon sea salt and the pasta and cook until just al dente. Drain, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and set aside.
In a separate pan, Saut the sausage, onion, garlic and bell pepper in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil until the meat is browned and the onions are caramelized, approximately 8 minutes. Add in the pasta a reserved water, 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (or to taste,) the oregano and sage and saut 2 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and arugula along with 1/2 tsp each ground black pepper and sea salt (or to taste); toss gently to incorporate.
Divide pasta among 4 bowls. Pull apart the mozzarella balls and distribute among dishes... Sprinkle with shaved Romano and more red pepper flake if desired. Top with a liberal drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt (optional.) Serve.