Orecchiette with Sausage, Beans and Mascarpone


  • 1 pound orecchiette or other small shaped pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. In a large, heavy skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and onion and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the sausage into bite-size pieces as it browns. Continue cooking until the sausage is golden and the onion is tender. Add the beans and oregano and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until it dissolves into a light sauce. Add the salt, pepper, and hot pasta. Stir until coated, and serve.

Serves 4-6