Orecchiette with Sausage Peppers and Arugula (video)

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The BEST Orecchiette with Sausage Peppers and Arugula. This quick and delicious meal comes together in one skillet in under 20 minutes!

More Italian sausage recipes: Creamy Sausage Baked Ziti “White Baked Ziti”, Broccoli Pasta with Sausage Recipe (Italian), and Italian Sheet Pan Sausage, Potatoes, and Tomatoes.

a fork taking a bite of the final plate with pasta and red pepper arugula in the bite
A little bit of everything in one bite!
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Why this recipe works

It is full of flavor from the fennel sausage to the fresh arugula and roasted red peppers.

Italian sausage adds the perfect flavor to any pasta dish.

This sausage and pasta recipe is a quick and easy skillet meal with incredible flavor, perfect for weeknight dinners with family. 

If you need another quick and easy recipe with sausage and peppers try: Easy Italian Sausage and Peppers Recipe (Skillet).

Simple Ingredients

  • Orecchiette or other short pasta
  • Reserved pasta water 
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion, diced 
  • Sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • Fire roasted red peppers 
  • Fresh arugula 
  • Basil leaves torn by hand
  • Parmigiano or Parmesan cheese

See recipe card for quantities.

How to make Orecchiette with Sausage Peppers and Arugula Recipe (VIDEO)

You will love how this easy skillet meal comes together in a little time!

Recipe video

Orecchiette Pasta Variety

Orecchiette, a coin-sized, saucer-shaped pasta, is ideal for catching flavorful bits of sausage, peppers, and arugula; if you can’t find orecchiette, small shells or cavatelli work well, too.

Sauces that work well with orecchiette pasta: Authentic Italian Pesto Genovese (Basil Pesto), Classic Italian Tomato Sauce (Sugo al Pomodoro), and Classic Italian Ragu Recipe (Meat Sauce).

platted final dish of pasta and sausage with arugula and red peppers in a pan with wooden spoon
Skillet meal of sausage, pasta, and red peppers

I love using orecchiette for this dish since it makes little pockets for the sausage. It makes for a great mouthful with a little bite of everything.

We like this recipe so much, we’ve tried it with penne pasta and other fun pasta shapes.

If you are interested in learning more about which pasta shapes go best with which sauce read: Pasta Quality Matters: Cheap vs. Expensive Pasta

platted final dish of pasta and sausage with arugula and red peppers in a pan with wooden spoon

What Does Arugula Taste Like?

Fresh arugula leaves have a distinctive spicy kick that will turn up the flavors in your salads, pastas, sandwiches, and sauces.

The flavor can be bright, tart, peppery, and slightly bitter, depending on its maturity. If you are worried it won’t be a hit SWAP FOR SPINACH.

Before you do so, I encourage you to try the dish with arugula! If you love arugula try this recipe: Fresh Arugula Walnut Pesto (vegan recipe)

Variations Orecchiette Sausage Peppers and Arugula

I love this recipe ‘as is’ with the balance of sweet and savory flavors.

Try adding kale or spinach instead of the arugula. You can also try ground beef, turkey sausage, ground chicken, or cut and sliced Italian sausage.

Sweet and ripe cherry tomatoes would also work well in this dish. Add a little spice with red pepper flakes!

platted final dish of pasta and sausage with arugula and red peppers in a pan with wooden spoon

Roasted Red Peppers

You can certainly make your own roasted red peppers, and I certainly do, but for this recipe I use a good quality variety from a jar.

You can also make them at home Roasted Peppers in oil with Garlic. More delicious recipes with roasted red peppers- Creamy Ricotta Roasted Red Pepper (No Cook Sauce), Farro Salad Recipe Red Pepper Mushroom, and Gnocchi in Creamy Red Pepper Sauce.

Roasted red peppers from a jar are great and help make this meal a little more simple. They are sweet and intensely smoky, with a smooth, almost silky texture.

Yumm! I even love to eat them plain.

Ingredients in small bowls and final bowl of pasta with arugula and red peppers

What to Serve with Orecchiette Sausage Peppers and Arugula

This delicious skillet meal is filling as a main meal! We love to serve it with a side of bread. Here are our favorites: Fast Italian No Knead Ciabatta Bread, No Knead Italian Focaccia Bread, or Easy Soft Italian No Knead Bread.

These bread recipes are easy and absolutely delicious.

Don’t forget dessert! Classic Italian Tiramisu Recipe (Authentic) or our Easy Italian Pear Cake (Torta di Pere)!

Read What to Serve with Italian Sausage for more ideas on what to serve with recipes with Italian sausage!

grating fresh parmiggiano on the final pasta meal

I recommend grating your own cheese for all my recipes. You might like to Read Why you Should Grate your Own Cheese.

Have you checked out my NEW CBE PRODUCTS? Take a look at the 2-in-1 cutting and charcuterie board, gorgeous apron, and unique pasta server that you that you absolutely need. The wood products are all handmade in Salt Lake City, Utah. They make great gifts as well!

Ingredients in small bowls and final bowl of pasta with arugula and red peppers
Beautiful plate of Orecchiette with Sausage Peppers and Arugula

More recipes for you:

From my cucina to your table, made with amore, Elena

Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment! I love connecting with you through the recipes.

You’ll love every bite of this easy pasta recipe! It is one to save and make often!

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platted final dish of pasta and sausage with arugula and red peppers in a pan with wooden spoon

Orecchiette with Sausage, Peppers, and Arugula

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 5 reviews

This sausage and pasta recipe is a quick and easy skillet meal with incredible flavor, perfect for weeknight dinners with family. You’ll love every bite of this easy pasta recipe!

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1/2 cup fire roasted red peppers
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 6 basil leaves torn by hand
  • 1/3 cup grated parmigiano cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add roasted peppers; cook until heated through. Sprinkle in basil leaves and stir. Add arugula and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is soft and cooked. Turn off heat. 
  3. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  4. Transfer sausage mixture to bowl (or keep in pan and add following ingredients to pan); add pasta, reserved pasta water, and Parmesan. Toss to combine. Serve hot! 
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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11 Comments

  1. We tried this recipe tonight…..era molto buono! My 11 year old really loved it! A little taste of Italy here in Texas and a reminder of our time when we lived in Italy. I’m so glad I stumbled across your site and cannot wait to try more of your classic Italian dishes.

    Jim






    1. Hi Jim! I am so happy you are here and can’t wait for every dish to transport you to Italy! Enjoy and stay in touch.