Green with Envy Orecchiette and Red Wine Braised Sausages

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 pounds - 8 short links or 4 large, hot or sweet Italian sausages

2 cups dry red wine

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided


1 pound orecchiette pasta

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 package or bunch chives, coarsely chopped or torn by hand

2 cloves garlic, popped from skin, 1 clove minced, divided

12 stems tarragon, 1 package or small bunch, leaves stripped from stems

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to pass at table

1 bunch green Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped

A little freshly grated nutmeg, to taste


  1. Orecchiette means little ears and the ears will be burning over this recipe - tasty and supper good for you. The friends and family you make it for will be green with envy to be able to make something so delicious!
  2. Place sausages in a skillet and add wine and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil to the pan. Place pan over medium-high heat and let the wine reduce and evaporate, 15 to 18 minutes. Eventually, the casings will crisp up and the wine and oil will glaze the casings.
  3. Place a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Salt water and cook to al dente. Heads up: you will need 1 1/2 cups, a couple of ladles, starchy cooking water just before you drain the orecchiette.
  4. Toast hazelnuts 5 minutes over medium-low heat in a small skillet. Cool a few minutes.
  5. Place the chives, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper and nuts into food processor and turn it on. Stream in about 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and process the ingredients into a smooth but thick sauce. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir in the cheese. The color is stronger if you stir rather than process the cheese into the sauce.
  6. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high to high heat. Add greens, minced garlic and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Sear greens, tossing them as they wilt down, 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add cooking liquids to pesto in bowl then add pasta and greens and toss to coat the pasta and let the flavors absorb, 1 minute.
  8. Serve 2 braised sausages with lots of greens alongside.