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
|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|
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.
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.
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. Check 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!!