Italian Sausage Pasta with Spinach

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My Italian Sausage Pasta with spinach.

So a number of months ago, my kids asked of me the unthinkable – again: “Papa, can you make something different?”

Jiminy Crickets.  How can 12 and 13 year old kids want something different, especially when one likes cheese only pizza and the other only pepperoni?  Trying to make something BOTH will like?  Why couldn’t they be satisfied with my culinary masterpieces (LOL) like:

  • Fettucine Alfredo with Prosciutto
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Spaghetti al Limone
  • Gyoza (potstickers)
  • Ma-bo Dofu (Szechuan Tofu)
  • Ham with Homemade Honey Glaze and Scalloped Potatoes
  • Enchiladas
  • CPK’s Pesto Creme Penne Pasta
  • Croquettes (コロッケ)
  • Chicken Katsu
  • Beef Teriyaki with Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
  • Spaghetti and Homemade Meatballs
  • Wilted Spinach Salad
  • Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce
  • Burritos
  • Etc?

Let’s not even address breakfast, like my buttermilk pancakes or waffles from scratch even on school days.  Well, I didn’t milk the cow nor grew the wheat that makes the (King Arthur) flour.  I need to be honest about that.

_________________________________________

So I went to my trusted source.  No, not Cook’s Illustrated.  This time, my oldest daughter Robyn, who’s become quite an accomplished cook herself (She got that from me.).

a prime rib
My oldest daughter’s prime rib. Yum!

I forgot from which site the recipe came from, but as soon as I said to my kids, “Robyn has a new recipe for pasta,” they said OK!

That’s the magic word, you know.  “Robyn”.  It’s never my saying I’ll make something new.

But this recipe (with a couple of modifications) is ideal for a dutch oven… and it’s easy!

  • 3/4 pound pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mild or spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can Swanson chicken broth
  • Fresh basil chiffonade (to your liking but I use about two stalks of fresh leaves)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 bag fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

Cooking:

  1. Heat a skillet (or Dutch oven)
  2. Add olive oil
  3. Brown onion until transparent
  4. Add Italian sausage.  Crumble and cook until pink is almost gone
  5. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  6. Add broth, basil and tomatoes with liquid
  7. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to slightly reduce. Add chopped spinach and fresh basil
  8. Cover skillet and simmer on reduced heat until spinach is tender.

In meantime, aggressively boil your pasta (I like to use Penne or Ziti) until al dente.  Drain.

Add pasta to skillet and mix together. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Done!

And you know what?  The kids liked it…because it was Robyn’s recipe.

39 thoughts on “Italian Sausage Pasta with Spinach”

  1. We make a dish very similar to that. Major difference, we use 3 cups of chicken broth, Rotels, and heavy whipping cream. We simmer the uncooked pasta with everything for about 15 minutes. Mix in about half a bag of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, pour remainder on top and then put under broiler long enough to brown cheese topping. We use hot sausage and exclude the spinach.

  2. I think your children ask for something new because you seem more than capable of delivering! I am so impressed by the range in your cooking and the way you fit that in on top of everything else! You are a man of many talents and surprises, Koji! This looks like a fantastic recipe and I’m sure to make it for my family. It sounds delicious!

  3. Wow your list looks like only a professional can cook. What brand of mild italian sausage do you recommend?

    1. LOL… Perhaps the list may LOOK professional, its an entirely different story when it comes to eating it. Ha! As for the brand, I buy the sausage from the butcher at Stater Bros, a supermarket here. I think they grind it themselves. 🙂

  4. This pasta looks and sound delicious, as does everything on your menu. I love Italian sausage but have never added it to penne pasta. I think that’s a great idea! I’d be happy eating at your place any night of the week! I’d especially love to try your gyoza! Yum…. :)))

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