Orecchiette “Paella” with Clams and Italian Sausage – Just a Little Sausage Somethin’ to Inspire You [recipe]

Orechiette Paella with Clams and Italian Sausage
This is just a reminder, note of encouragement, and inspiration from us to you.


The recipe contest sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage with $1,500 in total cash is still going strong!


Not to be subtle in our encouragement or anything, but…ENTER THE CONTEST! We’re pretty sure you have what it takes, and what it takes isn’t much. Wait, we didn’t mean it that way. What we do mean to say is that it’s super easy to come up with a recipe and enter.

There’s no need to get all Top Chef on us. Just take your favorite recipe and modify it to include Johnsonville sausage. Of course, if you’re really inspired, go ahead and make something up from scratch. Once you’ve got the recipe down, go to the Contest Entry page and upload! You don’t even need a photo — though you know we always love a little gratis sausage porn…and yes, that one, we did mean it that way.


Just to show you how easy it is, we’re sharing contest entrant Maria S.’s recipe for a pasta-based paella that uses Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage. We’re sure you could come up with something equally awesome!

Orecchiette “Paella” with Clams and Johnsonville Italian Sausage

Recipe contest entry from Maria S.


1 lb. Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage
1 lb. orecchiette pasta
12 littleneck clams
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
1 star anise
¼ cup warm water
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon paprika
8 oz. bottle of clam juice
½ cup pasta cooking water, if necessary
Additional parsley for serving


Place saffron and star anise in 1/4 cup warm water and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and begin squeezing sausage from casings into the hot skillet. Brown the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove sausage to a bowl once browned and set aside.

Heat olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onion, finely chopped parsley and garlic. Sauté until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomatoes. Simmer for just under 5 minutes or until almost all tomato juices have evaporated. Stir in tomato paste, paprika and saffron/star anise mixture. Season with salt and pepper–make sure to remove the star anise at this point.

Add the clam juice to the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Place clams into the sauce and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes or until the clams have opened. Stir in the sausage.

Meanwhile, set a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook orecchiette until tender, about 10 minutes. Once done, using a slotted spoon add pasta to the sauce with clams and sausage. Toss gently to coat the pasta with sauce and add the 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid as necessary. Sprinkle with additional parsley and serve.

by Sarah J. Gim on October 26, 2010 · 0 comments

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