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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


  • 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


  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.