Creamy Sausage and Corn Orecchiette

I could eat this Creamy Sausage and Corn Orecchiette every week. I love a dreamy pasta dish! It also happens to come together in about 30 minutes! A perfect weeknight meal, or impressive yet simple entertaining dish.

Here’s what you need:

  • short cut pasta such as orecchiette
  • sweet Italian turkey or pork sausage
  • garlic
  • onion
  • Parmesan cheese
  • prepared basil pesto
  • sweet corn
  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh basil
  • white wine
  • my bonus creamy secret ingredient, cream cheese

The creamy sauce is pulled together with just a few ingredients, and it doesn’t include heavy cream. The water from your cooked pasta pot is your best friend in any pasta dish. It has all the starch from the pasta that helps create a sauce that adheres to the pasta. A couple dollops of cream cheese with the pasta water and Parmesan make the dreamiest simple sauce.

This creamy sausage and corn orecchiette recipe uses plenty of summer’s finest goodies. Cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, and fresh basil really brighten up this dish. But…you don’t have to have a backyard garden to make it. Cherry tomatoes are available year round as well as fresh basil. Your next best bet for corn is frozen if it’s off season.

Use any white wine that you enjoy drinking. I used a local sauvignon blanc because that’s generally what I have on hand. If you want to leave the wine out, you certainly could (just use extra pasta water), or substitute with a little chicken or vegetable stock. Sweet Italian turkey sausage is what I like to use, and sometimes I go the spicy route. Either would be delish!

It makes great leftovers too! Just add a little water, milk, or stock when reheating to bring the creamy factor back to life. I usually add a bit more parm when reheating too. Hope you give this Creamy Sausage and Corn Orecchiette recipe a try, you won’t regret it!

Here are a couple of my other favorite pastas!

Spaghetti Carbonara

Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Lasagna Rollups

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta

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Creamy Sausage and Corn Orecchiette

Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Laura Doerr

Ingredients

  • 1 lb orecchiette pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage pork or turkey
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil cut into ribbons
  • Reserved pasta water
  • Parmesan for serving
  • Red pepper flakes optional
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions to just under al dente. Make sure to salt your water. Pasta will finish cooking when added to creamy sausage mixture. Make sure to reserve about 1-2 cups of pasta water just before draining pasta.

  2. While you wait for water to boil and pasta to cook, prepare the creamy sausage mixture. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, minced garlic and diced onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in sweet Italian sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink.

  3. Stir in white wine, and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in basil pesto, Parmesan cheese, corn, tomatoes, and cream cheese. Stir until melted and creamy. Reduce heat to low.

  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked pasta directly from the water into the sauce. This leaves you with the full pot of pasta water to use as needed rather than draining. Add in about 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Stir in fresh chopped basil. Sauce will thicken as it sits. Add additional pasta water if needed. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if desired. If your pasta water was heavily salted you should not need much additional salt between the cheese and the pasta water.

  5. Serve with additional fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Add a dash of red pepper flakes for added kick if desired.

Recipe Notes

Fresh cooked sweet corn is best, but frozen is your next best bet.

Any short-cut pasta would work in this dish. If you like heat, try using a spicy Italian sausage.

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