Spicy Paccheri with Sausage & Greens

cold weather pasta perfection: spicy paccheri with italian sausage, greens, lots of pecorino, and roasted hazelnuts

serves: 4

  • Author: Kayla Howey


  • olive oil, as needed
  • ½ lb raw spicy Italian sausage
  • ¾ lb paccheri
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 2 red finger peppers (or fresno), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup pasta water (from cooking the paccheri)
  • 1 bunch green chard, stemmed & roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup grated pecorino cheese
  • ½ cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • more grated pecorino to garnish


1. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat.

2. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add the spicy Italian sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the sausage into little pieces as it begins to brown. Continue to cook the sausage until golden brown and fully cooked.

3. Meanwhile, add the paccheri to a large pot of salted, boiling water and cook 3 minutes less than the package instructions.

4. When the sausage is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate.

5. In the same pot, add the rosemary to the hot oil. Fry the rosemary for a minute or two until crispy. Remove and reserve.

6. Add the peppers to the oil and sauté for a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Retrieve ½ cup of pasta water from the pasta pot and add it in with the wine. Let the liquid come to a boil, reduce the heat, and let simmer for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened.

7. When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and add it to the pot. Allow it to cook for a minute in the liquid, stirring often.

8. Stir in the green chard and let wilt. Add the sausage back into the pot, along with the butter. Let the sausage heat back through as the butter melts.

9. Gradually add in the grated pecorino cheese, stirring slowly until it melts into the sauce.

10. Taste the pasta and season with more salt if needed. Plate the pasta, spooning the sauce right over top. Garnish with the roasted hazelnuts and lots of pecorino cheese. Crumble the fried rosemary on top to finish.