Orecchiette with Spinach, Sausage & Tomatoes

Adding some of the liquid from the canned tomatoes at the helps to cook the tomatoes and spinach without losing any flavor.


  • 1 1/4 lbs (625 g) bulk hot Italian sausage
  • 3 cans (14.5 oz each) Italian-herb diced tomatoes (5 1/4 cups/1.2 L), divided
  • 12 oz (350 g) uncooked orecchiette pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water
  • 4   garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 2 cups (500 mL) grape tomatoes
  • 1 oz (30 g) Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup/50 mL packed)
  • 5 oz (150 g) fresh baby spinach leaves (8 cups/2 L)


  1. Cook sausage in (12-in./30-cm) Skillet over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes, breaking into crumbles with Mix ‘N Chop. Drain canned tomatoes using medium Stainless Mesh Colander into Stainless (4-qt./4-L) Mixing Bowl; reserve 1 cup (250 mL) of the tomato liquid for later use in the recipe.

  2. Add drained canned tomatoes, tomato liquid from mixing bowl, pasta, water, pressed garlic, pepper flakes, if desired, and salt to Skillet. Cover and cook 13-15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

  3. Meanwhile, cut grape tomatoes in half using Utility Knife. Grate cheese using Microplane® Adjustable Fine Grater. Add grape tomatoes, spinach and reserved 1 cup (250 mL) tomato liquid to Skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with cheese.


  • 6  servings

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 470, Total Fat 16 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Carbohydrate 57 g, Protein 22 g, Sodium 1370 mg, Fiber 6 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 1/2 low-fat meat, 2 fat (3 carb)

Cook's Tips:

Breaking the sausage into crumbles with the Mix ‘N Chop helps it to cook more quickly and evenly.

Orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian. It is a small round pasta with a slight dome in the center. Campanelle pasta can be substituted, if desired.

For a milder dish, mild or sweet Italian sausage can be used. Italian sausage links with the casings removed can be substituted for the bulk sausage.

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