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Pork and brussels sprouts are a match made in heaven. Especially when that pork is spicy Italian sausage and those brussels sprouts are roasted in the oven until crispy and brown, all of it tossed together with chewy orecchiette pasta, garlic, lemon, onion, creamy goat cheese and bright green basil. Simple, fresh and done in just 30 minutes — this weeknight-friendly meal is way better than any takeout.
Spicy Sausage Pasta with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Goat Cheese. Phew! Say that three times fast… Its super long name aside, this pasta is one of my all-time favorites. Each ingredient stands out so beautifully. You could even swirl a little 5-minute pesto in there if you’re feeling extra.
The Tools I Used to Make this Orecchiette Pasta
I used a couple of my favorite kitchen tools to make this super simple, easy meal:
- Bamboo cooking spoons* — I’ve had my bamboo cooking spoons set for years. I made the switch from plastic to bamboo when I learned that toxic chemicals could leach out of the plastic and into my food. Yuck, that’s not an ingredient I’d like to include. These bamboo cooking spoons include a spatula and have worked really well for me.
- Cast iron skillet* — Oh cast iron, how I love you. This one is pre-seasoned, and it’s cooked delicious meals for me and my family for years. When cared for properly, nothing sticks to it. And it’s super easy to clean.
Let’s Get Cooking
This pasta is what my pasta dreams are made of. The tangy, creamy goat cheese melts into the lemony, garlicky sauce, coating each little orecchiette, bringing everything together. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Curl up tonight with a bowl of this hearty, spicy, creamy pasta, a glass of wine and a really good book — that one that (if you’re like me) you’ve been meaning to finish for ever, but can’t seem to find the time. You’ll be glad you did.
Let’s get cooking.
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 cups halved brussels sprouts
- ½ lb orecchiette pasta
- Salt for the pasta water (optional but recommended)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid
- 4 oz plain goat cheese
- A few leaves of fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the brussels sprouts on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until browned and crispy.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop in the orecchiette pasta and cook according to package instructions. Be sure to reserve ½ cup of the cooking water before draining.
- Once the water comes to a boil, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion. Cook on medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, breaking up into small-ish bite size pieces. Cook until no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in the lemon juice and reserved pasta water, stirring to combine -- scraping up any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the pasta into the sausage mixture, tossing to coat. Break the goat cheese into small pieces, sprinkling over the pasta and tossing to combine.
- Top with fresh basil.