Wild boar Sausage, Tomatoes, Purple Cauliflower, Garlic and Orecchiette Pasta

This is a simple Italian dish, that is relatively easy to make. It is light, but packs a good punch full of flavors.  It is a great dish when you have a beautiful bounty from the summer garden and some sausage in the freezer from the hunt season before.  You can use basically any game sausage, or basic sausage from the store.  I would recommend Mild Italian,  and if you do not have that exact blend in the freezer. Use some salt, red crushed pepper, and black pepper to taste as you cook the sausage.

Serves 4:

  • 1/4 cup of good Olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons.
  • 3 Meyer lemons for juice
  • 12 oz of purple cauliflower, trimmed
  • 12-15 oz of Orecchiete pasta
  • 1 lb. mild or hot Italian wild boar sausage (or any sausage you prefer).
  • 1 lb of grape tomatoes
  • 3 garlic gloves chopped
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of good quality ricotta cheese-Whole Milk
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced.
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil thinly sliced
Lots of color for this dish. I used baby zucchini and Patty Pan squash as the side.

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 TBS of olive oil, the juice of two lemons, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper.  Set aside and get the oven going to 425 degrees.  Take another bowl and cut the cauliflower in to 1 inch pieces, then add 3 Tbs of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  I added my zucchini and Patty Pan squash to the pan and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper as well.

Bring a nice pot of water to boil, the vegetables will take about 15 minutes so add the pasta at the same time.

Bring large skillet to medium high heat and add the sausage and cook until brown breaking into 1/4 bites.  Usually cooks 5-7 minutes but get it nice and brown.

Transfer the sausage to a plate and add garlic, tomatoes and onions to the same skillet using the any juices left behind from the sausage.  If you need add olive oil to help them caramelize.  After 3 minutes, add the white wine and scrape the bottom to deglaze the pan.  Allow the alcohol to burn off the skillet.  Then transfer to a big bowl and stir in cooked pasta, the purple cauliflower, and small bowl of whisked ingredients that you set aside to use later.  Toss together, add sausage.  Then plate.  Then take a small spoon and add dollops of ricotta, sprinkle with basil.  Squeeze your left over lemon over the top with a few sprinkles of olive oil and serve.


I love this dish.  My advice to you is to taste it before serving to make sure you have enough lemon before squeezing the finale on top.  I added Jacobsen salt with a quick sprinkle.   There is nothing better with wild game than fresh veggies from the garden.  I can hardly wait for my tomatoes to come in.

I hope you enjoyed cooking it as much as you enjoyed eating it with family and friends.


The Hunting Chef


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