There’s no better way to enjoy freshly made pasta than with home made sauce! We’ll show you how to prepare a delicious fresh orecchiette with a chunky vegetarian sauce using mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes with the added flavor and zing of garlic in an olive oil base. Why orecchiette? These little bowl-shaped pasta pieces are the perfect way to scoop up even more of your delicious sauce in every bite.
Feeling intimidated? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read our Beginner’s Guide to Handmade Pasta Dough – Your guide to ingredients, techniques, and much more!
Fresh Orecchiette Pasta with Mushrooms, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Toasted Pine Nuts and Crispy Kale Garnish
- Fresh orecchiette pasta dough – recipe here
- ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp cup good olive oil, divided
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried red-pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 lb assorted wild mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- ½ cup pine nuts (pignoli), lightly toasted
- 1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
- 1/8 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and freshly cracked black peppercorns, to taste
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
Rehydrate the Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and let sit off the heat for 15-20 minutes until plump.
- Drain the tomatoes and place on a cutting board. Roughly chop the tomatoes in small chunks.
- Set aside in a separate bowl mixed with a little olive oil until ready to add to the sauce.
Toast the Pine Nuts
- Heat a small saute pan over medium-low heat.
- Add the pine nuts to the heating pan. Toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until the pine nuts become lightly browned and emit a nutty, toasty aroma. This will take 1-2 minutes.
- Set aside until ready to garnish the final dish.
Make the Crispy Kale Garnish
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
- Remove ribs from the washed and dried kale and tear into roughly 2-inch pieces.
- On a baking sheet lined with Sil-pat or parchment paper, toss the kale with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20-25 minutes.
Prepare the Sauce
- While the kale is baking, prepare the sauce. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a large saute pan. Heat the oil and garlic on medium-low heat for just a few minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant, being sure to not brown the garlic.
- Add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Saute, stirring occasionally. Cook until the liquid released from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms begin to shrink. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Add the white wine to deglaze the pan. Add the chicken stock and mix to combine. Lower the heat to low. Let the sauce reduce slightly as you cook the pasta.
Cook the Pasta
- Fill a large pot with water and liberally add a nice handful of salt. Boil the water.
- Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the fresh pasta and cook until al dente, about 3-5 minutes.
- Reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta in a collander. Add the reserved pasta water and chopped parsley to the mushroom tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When ready to serve, toss the sauce with the pasta. Add grated cheese, if using. Add a handful of the toasted pine nuts and a few pieces of kale as a garnish. Add more freshly grated Parmesan cheese.