This variation of the traditional orecchiette with meat sauce is the favorite of Michelle, a great friend and a faithful research assistant for this cookbook. It is best when made with fresh pasta (see recipe for Cavatelli), but dry pasta works, too. Serve this with broccoli raab, as its bitterness nicely complements the richness of the sausage.
1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the crumbled sausages and brown well, breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, or until the garlic releases its aroma. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the wine, and the red pepper flakes. When the sauce starts to boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a large pot, bring to a boil 4 quarts (3.8 L) of water. Salt the water generously, add the pasta, and cook to al dente.
3. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce and sprinkle it with the pecorino cheese.
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