Pesto Orecchiette with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Chicken Sausage


I started my senior internship this week and have been getting home right around dinner time every night. I am usually starving when I get home and need quick and easy recipes to cook for dinner. This recipe is a perfect easy and quick pasta dish that was ready in no time!


I like making homemade pesto rather than buying it. Buying it definitely saves time and I will buy it when I know I don't have time to make it, but I think homemade has so much more flavor than store bought. I made a kale pesto in the morning before I left for my internship so that it was ready when I got home. It is a very simple recipe that only took about 15 minutes to throw together.


The brussel sprouts and tomatoes also cook very quickly. The vegetables and pasta take about the same time to cook so this dinner comes together all at the same time. I also decided to use andouille chicken sausage, but you can use whichever flavor you prefer. I liked the little bit of spice the andouille added to this dish.


This dish is so simple and extremely delicious. There are so many different flavors incorporated throughout this dish and you can really make it your own. If you don't like brussel sprouts, roast broccoli instead. A sun dried tomato pesto would also be delicious if you did not want basil or spinach pesto. However you end up making this orecchiette, you are sure to love it!

Pesto Orecchiette with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Chicken Sausage:
(recipe slightly adapted from: http://www.piarecipes.com)

1 pound orecchiette pasta
1 pound brussel sprouts, ends removed and cut in half
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup kale pesto (recipe below)
4 andouille chicken sausage links, sliced into thin rounds
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese, grated (for serving)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. In a bowl mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the brussel sprouts, cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the brussel sprout mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until tender.
  4. Cook the orecchiette according to package directions. Drain and set aside, reserving 1-2 tablespoons of pasta water.
  5. In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add in the chicken sausage. Cook for about 10 minutes, until browned. Add in the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the pasta, pesto, roasted vegetables and pasta water (if the sauce needs to be thinned out a bit) and saute until everything is mixed together well.
  6. Transfer to serving bowls and top with parmesan cheese.


Kale Pesto:

4 cups kale, stems removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
  1. Puree all of the ingredients in a food processor until combined. Store in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

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