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Spicy orecchiette in a large silver skillet with a wooden spoon.

Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Orecchiette

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Jessie
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Pasta
  • Cuisine: Italian-American


An easy pasta recipe with broccoli, spicy sausage, and a simple cream sauce.


  • 1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste



For great pasta, cook the pasta in a separate pot while you build the sauce in the skillet. It can take some practice to successfully balance both pots at a time! We like to use a spider spoon to transfer the pasta to the sauce skillet because it pulls some of the starchy pasta water in with it, which helps emulsify the sauce and keep it nice and creamy. If you’d rather use just one pot, cook the pasta and broccoli, then drain it, set it aside, and return the pot to the stove to build your sauce. If you do this, just make sure to reserve a bit of pasta water to help the sauce come together!

Use quality parmesan cheese here – pre-shredded cheese is often treated with preservatives that prevent it from melting smoothly into a sauce. I like to buy a nice block of parmesan and shred it myself with a microplane or cheese grater.

Add any veggies you like to this pasta or swap the sausage out for chicken to switch it up!

Use 1/4 cup stock, milk, or pasta water in place of 1/4 cup of the cream to lighten this recipe up a little.