Orecchiette with Sausage and Pistachio-Mint Pesto

This recipe as a little bit of Sullivan’s Island and an old Italian recipe that stems from a small Umbrian Village. The Italian version calls for a lot more cream than we use and on Sullivan’s Island they use lamb and a mint-pistachio sauce. So somewhere in-between, we have create a hearty pasty that has fresh flavors and can make a great lunch. You just need to make a pesto with a touch of cream, cook down the sausage then finish off with pasta.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 ounces ground pork from you butcher, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cup of parmesan, seperated
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of fresh mint, rough chopped
  • 1 cup of pistachios, shelled and roasted at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, let cool
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup of chives, finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Making It

  • Make the pesto by using a food processor fitted with a steal blade, add the garlic and pulse until minced, add the mint and pulse until fully chopped, then add the pistachios, lemon juice and zest, turn on and drizzle in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil until processed. Add parmesan cheese and pulse twice
  • Fill a pot with 6 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Do not add olive oil, as that will keep the sauce from sticking to the pasta, add the pasta and cook until just under al dente, you want to time this so the pasta is done just in time to add to the pasta sauce and finish off
  • Put a sauté pan with high sides over medium high heat and drizzle olive oil, when hot add the onion, mushrooms and red pepper flakes, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and sauté until the mushrooms are browned and onions translucent, add the wine and cook until evaporated, the add the crumbled sausage and almost al dente pasta , 2 tablespoons of the pasta water and cook until full evaporated and the pasta is al dente, put in a bowl and mix with pesto, season with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and mix. Put in a bowl and sprinkle with extra parmesan, red pepper flakes and chives

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