Spinach and Sausage Pasta

This recipe was inspired by my fabulous hair stylist, Amy. While her recipe was different, it got my wheels spinning and this is what came out! If you’re not a fan of sausage, this recipe would also be great with some well seasoned grilled chicken breast (cut into chunks).

Spinach and Sausage Pasta

Spinach and Sausage Pasta

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Total Recipe cost: $8.85
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Cost per serving: $1.11
Prep time: 5 min. Cook time: 25 min. Total: 30 min.

INGREDIENTS COST
14.5 oz. box penne pasta $1.94
1 lb. spicy italian sausage links $2.98
1.5 cups shredded parmesan blend $1.78
1/2 of 9oz. bag baby spinach $1.09
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil $0.76
4 cloves or .5 bulb fresh garlic, sliced $0.25
1 Tbsp fresh cracked pepper $0.05
1 tsp salt nada
TOTAL $8.85

STEP 1: In a large pot, cook the entire box of pasta according to the directions on the box. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain well in a colander then return to the pot for later use (do not keep it over heat after returning to the pot).

STEP 2: While the pasta cooks, slice the sausage links on a diagonal and cook in a medium skillet over medium heat. The sausage will look browned and glossy when it is done cooking. cooked sausage

STEP 3: Slice the garlic cloves into “chips”. In a small skillet, heat the garlic chips in the 4 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-low heat. Simmer the garlic until it becomes soft and golden brown. The garlic infused oil will become a simple “sauce” for the pasta.

STEP 4: Add the cooked sausage, garlic and oil, salt and fresh pepper to the pot containing the cooked pasta. Stir well. garlic chips

STEP 5: Turn on the burner on to low heat. Add the fresh spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted (this will take a minute or two). Once the spinach has wilted, turn off the burner and add the cheese. Stir well. TADA!

If you have a little extra cash on hand, buy a bunch of cherry tomatoes, slice them in half and sautee them with the garlic chips. The tomatoes will add a dash of color and some bright acidity to the flavor. If you really like tomatoes and are short of cash, you can add a can of well drained diced tomatoes. finished productCheck for varieties that are already flavored with garlic or herbs. This recipe is very versatile so experiment!

NOTE: Fresh cracked pepper is vital to this recipe. If you don’t want to invest in a big ‘ol pepper grinder, McCormmick makes these great little mini pepper grinders that are disposable and cost only about $2 each. You can find them in the spice aisle and they come in different flavors and blends! Very convenient!!