RadioBDC Logo
| Listen Live
< Back to front page Text size +

Alma Nova's orecchiette with sausage and greens

Posted by Sheryl Julian  June 10, 2013 02:20 PM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article


In last week's Food section, we had a story on sausages, which seem to be on every menu in town (lucky us). A dish of orecchiette with crumbled pork sausages and greens from Alma Nova in Hingham was on the cover.

Owner and chef Paul Wahlberg talked me through the dish, which I made on the weekend. To make it, cook orecchiette, which is a firmer pasta than most and may take a little longer, saute greens, make a little porky sauce with sausages, and toss everything together with romano cheese and pine nuts. It's Wahlberg's specialty and may become mine too.

Orecchiette with sausages and greens

Serves 6


Alma Nova owner and chef Paul Wahlberg is known for this dish; he calls the greens by their Italian name, erbette. Use sweet or hot sausage and assemble the dish at the last minute, stirring in romano cheese, and garnishing with toasted pine nuts.


1 large bunch Swiss chard, kale, or collard greens (or a mixture of greens), stemmed

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound orecchiette

Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)

4 tablespoons olive oil

Pinch crushed red pepper

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1 pound sweet or hot pork sausage, removed from casing

3/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup grated romano cheese

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden


1. In a large bowl of cold water, soak the greens for 5 minutes. Lift them out (donít tip out the water), refill the bowl and soak the greens two more times. Cut them into fine strips; set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the pasta is almost tender. Drain and without rinsing, transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil and set aside, stirring occasionally.

3. In a flameproof casserole large enough to hold all the pasta, heat the 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat. Add the greens, salt, red pepper, and half the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes or until the greens are tender. Use a slotted spoon to press the greens against the side of the pan and remove them from the pan. Discard any liquid in the pan and wipe it out.

4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and remaining garlic and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with the edge of a metal spoon, for 5 minutes or until it is golden. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring. Stir in the orecchiette and greens and cook, tossing constantly, until the pasta is hot and blended with the sausage.

5. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or red pepper, if you like. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. Divide the pasta among 6 shallow bowls and garnish with pine nuts. Adapted from Alma Nova



About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

The Recipe Box Project:

If you want to contribute a recipe to The Recipe Box Project, please write it below. Also tell us where you got it (package box, cookbook, mom, friend -- include the name). We're looking for the kinds of dishes that people grew up on, that were served at family suppers, that tell a story, that are typically New England, or that you brought with you from a far away place to New England. We will print one of the recipes in the Food section once a month. To ask any questions, write to Debra Samuels, who is overseeing this project, at To discuss your recipes, click here.