Sausage and Leek Orecchiette

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Are you looking for an easy weeknight meal your whole family will love? Look no further than this delicious sausage and leek pasta – full of fresh flavors, nutritious ingredients, and ready in just 30 minutes. This comforting dish is the perfect balance between hearty comfort food and light summer fare, making it a great option to serve any time of year. With just a few simple ingredients like sausage, leeks, garlic, butter and seasonings, you can create a scrumptious dinner that is sure to be one of your new favorites!

I've been living off this Sausage and Leek Orecchiette recently and I can't get enough!

Sausage and Leek Orecchiette from (@whatsgabycookin)

It's loaded with kale, tons of leeks which are literally my currently favorite vegetable, a bit of savory sausage, cheese, red pepper flakes, and more! I used my favorite little Orecchiette pasta because they look like little ears, but feel free to use whatever kind of pasta you prefer!

Sausage and Leek Orecchiette from (@whatsgabycookin)

Orecchiette, or “little ears” in Italian, is a type of pasta that is well known for its small ear-like shape. This particular dish combines the classic flavors of sausage and leek to create a delicious comfort meal that is perfect for any time of year. If you are looking for a new recipe to try the next time you are craving something comforting and filling, look no further than this Sausage and Leek Orecchiette.

Tips and Tricks to cooking pasta

  • Start with good quality pasta.
  • Make sure your water is boiling before adding the pasta.
  • Don't forget to add salt to the water.
  • Cook the pasta until it is al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and add your sauce of choice.

Other dishes similar to this Orecchiette pasta:

Sausage and Leek Pasta from (@whatsgabycookin)

Sausage and Leek Orecchiette

Author: Gaby Dalkin
4.9 from 27 votes
This comforting Sausage and Leek Orecchiette will be your go-to pasta dish on any cold evening! Bonus, the leftovers are equally, if not more, delicious as the flavors have more time to develop and blend together. Enjoy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 people


  • 1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage casings removed
  • 4 leeks white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, finely shredded (optional)
  • cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1 cup Parmesan finely shredded
  • 1 cup Asiago finely shredded
  • ½ cup reserved pasta water


  • In a large skillet, sauté the sausages over medium-high, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add chopped leeks (and kale if you're using) to sausage in skillet and cook until softened, about 5 more minutes.
  • Add wine and cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until mostly evaporated. Stir in butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water.
  • Drain pasta, return to pot, add sausage mixture, and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed to thicken sauce. Toss in the shredded Parmesan and Asiago. Adjust salt and pepper as needed and serve.


This recipe makes for extra delish leftovers! My favorite way to re-heat this recipe is to add a little olive oil into a pan and add the leftover pasta and heat over low heat. That way nothing dries out in the microwave! 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 858mg | Potassium: 499mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4352IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 432mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson 


  1. 5 stars
    I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. The pasta flavors were subtle and cheesy, but so comforting! My husband loved it as well, though next time he requested spicy sausage instead of normal.

  2. This was so good and easy to make. Great weeknight recipe that you can throw together quickly! YUM! I had leftovers and was dreaming about them all night until I could eat them for lunch the next day.

  3. Can you use spinach instead of kale? How much fresh spinach would you substitute? Sounds so delicious!
    Thank you,
    Mary Jane

  4. Has this recipe changed? It's a family favorite and I've made it dozens of times. I'm getting ready to make it tonight, but looking at the recipe, I don't see the kale. I've read the list of ingredients and recipe 3 times to make sure I didn't miss it, but it's definitely not there. Even though I've made this a bunch of times, I don't know when to add the kale. Please help!

  5. 5 stars
    This is a really good, easy weeknight recipe! My husband was skeptical at first because of the leeks and the kale, but he ate 2 bowls and then said “we can make this again sometime” which is a huge compliment coming from him! And I agree, we’ll keep this recipe in the rotation!

  6. 5 stars
    Never cooked with Leeks before in my life. Tried this recipe out and we are in LOVE! All I had on hand was some purple kale but it still turned out lovely. Not too saucy, not too goopy and dry. YUM YUM YUM!
    New household staple.

  7. 5 stars
    This is literally my husband and my's favorite meal! We make it as often as we can. It is so easy and not messy. I just realized I never use the butter, but we don't notice it missing so I'll keep it out to keep the fat down. Thanks for another great recipe, Gaby!

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