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Creamy Orecchiette with Zucchini and Sausage

A homemade tapenade adds a punch of flavor to this pasta.

Serves 4
Ready in 25 mins
Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 15 mins
691 calories per serving


> 3/4 (16 oz) pkg orecchiette
> 1/2 lb Italian sausage
> 2 medium zucchini
> 1 tbsp olive oil
> 1/2 cup chopped parsley
> 3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives
> 1/2 tsp minced garlic
> 2 tsp capers drained
> 1 tsp lemon zest
> 3 tbsp olive oil
> 1/2 cup half-and-half


Heat a large pot of salted water to boil on high. Add orecchiette and cook according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup cooking liquid. Drain orecchiette in colander.
Meanwhile, remove sausage meat from casings. Thinly slice each zucchini into rounds. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Cook sausage and zucchini 10–12 min., until sausage is browned and zucchini is tender, using a spatula to break up meat.
Meanwhile, roughly chop parsley. Into food processor, add parsley along with olives, garlic, capers, and lemon zest. Pulse mixture until finely chopped. Pour in oil and pulse until combined, scraping down mixture if needed. Season with pepper.
Into skillet with sausage, stir in green olive tapenade and half & half. Heat to a simmer, 2–3 min., stirring occasionally. Toss mixture with orecchiette. Add cooking liquid, as needed, and season with salt and pepper.

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