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Orecchiette with Sausage in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

Orecchiette with Sausage in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

Orecchiette with Sausage in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

Orecchiette are pasta typical of Apulia, a region of Southern Italy. Their name comes from their shape, which resembles a small ear. The little ear catches the delicious sauce and they are mouth-watering with little pieces of sausage and a glass of Leopard’s Leap Merlot. (Click for pronunciation)

Prepare a simple egg pasta: 1 egg per 100 g flour, combined, kneaded well and allowed to rest before rolling. (2 eggs / 200 g flour makes enough for 3 main courses). Click here to see how to make your orecchiette at home. It might take a bit longer for those of us who are not so skilled, but it is a great family activity and they really taste better freshly made. But, if you don't have the time, use 400 g dried orecchiette pasta.

Prepare the creamy tomato sauce:

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500 g Italian pork sausages, meat squeezed out of their casings

1/4 cup Leopard’s Leap Classic Unwooded Chardonnay

1 cup tomato passata

3/4 cup cream

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated

1 tsp Italian herbs

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

3 cups (packed) baby spinach

Parmesan shavings, for serving


Heat oil in a very large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook for 15 seconds.

Add sausage meat and cook, breaking it up as you go, until there are some little golden bits - about 4 minutes.

Add wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the skillet to remove the golden bits, and allow wine to evaporate.

Add remaining ingredients except baby spinach. Stir well, bring to simmer then turn stove down to low and simmer gently for 2 minutes to bring all the flavours together.

Cook the orecchiette in a big pot of boiling, salted water until al dente.

Quickly, while it cooks, pour generous glasses of Leopard's Leap Merlot!

Combine pasta, baby spinach and sauce. Toss well for 1 minute to coat pasta  with the sauce - it will thicken. If the sauce gets too thick, use the reserved pasta cooking water to loosen it up.

Serve immediately, garnished with shaved Parmesan.


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