Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

I would venture a guess, that of all the industries in the world, the best people gravitate towards the world of craft beer. These are guys who are more than willing to take a pay cut to make sure the beer they make for you has the best ingredients. These are people who gladly work around the clock, if that’s what will make a better product. Craft brewers never start their journey with, “You know how I can get rich…” the conversation starts with, “I want to make some good beer, and I want to share it with people.”

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce (Hanger 24 Brewery)

Craft beer people want to do well by you, by their beer, and by their community. Most often, thoughts of their own prosperity rates a distant third. No one embodies this more than those guys at Hangar 24. This is a newer brewery out of Redlands, California, about an hours drive east of Los Angeles. Hangar 24 isn’t even 5 years old, and is producing beer that has a bit of an old soul quality. It’s not a brewery that plays lemming to the craft beer trends, or seeks to out beer-snob other breweries, these are brewers that just want to make great beer. Beer that stand the test of time and showcases the local ingredients.

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce (Hangar 24 Brewery)

I was a guest on the Beerisode of the Table Set last week, the podcast beginning with a beer field trip to Hanger, complete with a tour and a tasting. Although I got rather excited about the bourbon barrel aged stout that is currently in the works for release in the fall, the beer I was able to work with today was the Amarillo Pale Ale. This is a great example of a pale ale, hop forward, but still very well-balanced and the Amarillo hops making a star appearance. Hangar 24 is brilliantly expanding, in a responsible and thoughtful way, making it easier for more and more people to enjoy these fantastic beer. If you find yourself somewhere west of Palm Springs, but still east of Los Angles, stop in for a pint, you won’t regret it.

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce (Hangar 24 brewery)

After indulging in a sampling of every beer Hangar 24 has to offer, I went back to the Table Set Studios, and I got to give my two cents on their beer episode. If you get a chance, the podcast is free, give it a listen, we had a great time.

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce


  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • ½ cup English peas
  • 3 cups Orecchiette Pasta
  • 1 cup water


  • In a pot over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the beer, cream and lemon juice; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. About a tablespoon at a time, add the Parmesan, stirring until melted before adding more.
  • Add the dry pasta, water and peas, simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.


To make this recipe using fresh, not dried, pasta, omit the water.


Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

44 Responses to Orecchiette Pasta with Pale Ale Parmesan Cream Sauce

  1. Bev @ Bev Cooks March 12, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Oooooooh I wanna get crafty! (get it?)

    • Jackie March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      You’re awesome ;)

  2. Cassie | Bake Your Day March 12, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    I think I need to visit you and we can take a trip to Hangar 24, K? I love the sound of this sauce…amazing!

    • Jackie March 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

      You need to visit LA so we can go on a Beer Tour!

  3. claire @ the realistic nutritionist March 12, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    I’m moving in.

  4. sippitysup March 12, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Hey, The Table Set! I know those guys– they love beer. GREG

    • Jackie March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      Those guys are the best ;)

  5. addie | culicurious March 12, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I love a good cream sauce recipe :) Looks like your brewery tour was fantastic! Would love to visit that place.

  6. Karie Engels March 12, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Love the recipe, can’t wait to give this one a whirl! :)

  7. Michelle Collins March 12, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    I love the idea of adding pale ale to a cream sauce. Looks delicious!

  8. katie March 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    oh how I adore this pasta! I totally agree with you. Craft brewers are not looking to get rich. They just want to brew the best pint of beer around! Next time we are in LA we will definitely have to stop by!

    • Jackie March 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      Beer people are the best kind :) Such salt of the earth types!

  9. Jen @ Savory Simple March 12, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    I’m not worthy!

  10. Eileen March 12, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    This orrecchiette sounds so good–simple yet amazing. I haven’t had a cream sauce in far too long!

  11. a farmer in the dell March 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Hand me a fork, a large pint of pale ale, and a plate full of this pasta!

  12. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious March 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Uhhhhh, I need all of this. The meal, the beer and my feet being massaged while listening to The Tableset #lotterywinner

  13. April March 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Are you cooking the pasta at all before you throw it in the sauce? i haven’t made Orecchiette Pasta before. Thanks.

  14. Anne @The Cooking Campaign March 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Holy booze, I love the idea of your website. And this looks so delicious!

  15. ashley - baker by nature March 12, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    You are officially my beer guru. Also, when can I come over for pasta…?

  16. Purabi Naha March 13, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    Oh, this is LOVELY! This looks like something I must try. The recipe is great and I loved the picture!!

  17. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste March 13, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    Oh my heavens! Is there a better pasta shape than orecchiette? I think not! This looks like straight-up comfort in a bowl. Yum!

  18. April March 13, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Figured it all out. Made this last night, loved it, as did the bf. Made it with an Almanac pale ale. Cheers!

    • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      Oh good! I’m so glad, I didn’t see your comment until this morning. So glad it worked for you :)

    • Katherine March 13, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      hi April – I had the same question. What did you figure out – do you pre-cook the pasta? thanks.

      • Jackie March 13, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

        You cook the pasta in the sauce. The starch from the noodles thickens the sauce and the sauce soaks into the noodles.

        • Katherine March 13, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

          thank you!

  19. Bree {Skinny Mommy} March 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Just had a fabulous night out with beer + cheese tastings from Lakefront Brewery. YUM. I love your creative sauce here!

  20. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies March 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    This post is making me both hungry and thirsty. :)

  21. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan March 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Nothing better than pasta and beer : )

  22. Brian S March 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Couldn’t find Orecchiette pasta anywhere, so I ended up using Rotini (though I thought Farfalle would be closer). Found every Hangar 24 beer but the Pale Ale, so I used Deschutes Red Chair NWPA since I wanted to try it anyways. I also added chicken, for more protein at the very end.

    It turned out great. My first attempt at from scratch cream sauce. Thanks for the great recipe! :D

  23. Doug April 9, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Hangar 24… not hanger 24….

  24. Gabriel May 28, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    Hi! What a nice cooking blog you have here! I just wanted to ask a question on this recipe: Do you just add the pasta while it’s still raw to the sauce? I’m asking because what I usually do is bring some water to a boil, add salt and let the pasta boil until “al dente”, then add it to the sauce, but that’s because I live in Italy and that’s the common use here :-) Thank you!

    • Jackie May 28, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Gabriel,
      If you cook the pasta to al dente (or if you use fresh pasta instead of dried), omit the 1 cup water and finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. If you use dry pasta, follow the directions as written and the pasta will cook in the sauce, absorb the one cup water and thicken the sauce.

  25. Mandi September 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Any thoughts on how this would go with some grilled jerk chicken? TIA! Looks good :)

    • Jackie September 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      I think it would be fabulous!

  26. Acacia December 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    I tried this recipe a couple times and followed it strictly in the order above and it kept curdling!

    • Jackie December 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      I’m not sure why it’s curdling on you, it shouldn’t. The only thing I can think is that your pan is too hot. Try turning it off, then adding the beer, then the cream and them the lemon juice, stirring really well between each addition. Then putting it back on medium heat. IF the heat is too high you’ll have some problems. Also, raw cream curdles easier than pasteurized and ultra-pasteurized is least likely to curdle.

  27. Helene December 19, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    So I have a Christmas potluck coming up for work and I want to use one of your recipes. I’m thinking of making this dish, but I’m trying to figure out if I can make it the night before and then keep it warm in a crockpot the next day for the potluck? Not sure if that works for this dish or if I should look for another dish to make?

    Either way I’m definitely trying this recipe, it looks so good!

    • Jackie December 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      If you make it as written, the pasta will absorb too much liquid over night. Make the sauce, skip the water and just add the peas. Store that in one container. Make the pasta as you normally would, just cooked in lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, toss with about 1 tbs olive or vegetable oil, save in a separate container. Reheat both pasta and sauce separately, then toss right before serving.


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