A special thanks to Andrea who introduced me to this dish and the cookbook it came from! She made this for Ben and me when we went to visit Boston and stayed with them for a night. After a day of traveling it was so nice to be in someone’s home for dinner and to have such a satisfying and delicious meal.
What originally attracted me to the recipe, before I’d even tasted it, was that everything is made in one pan! No boiling pasta separately and adding it to another pan where you’ve made the sauce. You get to do it all together and only have one pan to clean. This makes me very happy (and Ben, too since he’s the one who usually does the dishes after dinner).
This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen Family Recipes, a cookbook I bought on Amazon the same night I had this pasta. I love the Test Kitchen. I think I’ve mentioned this before. The recipes are reliably good and they include tips on ingredients and methods to use in the kitchen. They also give you the whys and hows of cooking and baking. Included in this large ring-bound cookbook are tons of recipes for all kinds of things, appetizers to desserts. Inside the front cover you’ll find some emergency substitutions, and inside the back cover are temps for cooking meat, equivalent measurements and conversions for baking. Inside you’ll not only find recipes but cookware tips and food safety. I often find myself pulling out my phone to remind myself how many tablespoons are in 1/4 cup or what temperature my pork should be, but this book has it easily accessible and I won’t get flour on my phone! Have I sufficiently plugged the cookbook? I should be getting paid for this…
This pasta dish is delicious and comforting, but not heavy. There is some heavy cream and Parmesan which makes the dish just rich enough without making you feel like you’re over indulging. You can use hot, sweet or mild Italian sausage in this dish. The spinach and sun-dried tomatoes are the perfect additions.
To prep ahead you can cut the onion and garlic and store them separately. If you have sun-dried tomato halves you can slice them and store them as well. You can grate the Parmesan unless you bought it already grated. I didn’t try making this completely ahead, but did have some reheated the next day for lunch and it was terrific.
Sausage, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes with Penne
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped or sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, oil drained and reserved
- 8 ounces penne or ziti
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften.
- Add the sausage, breaking it up as it cooks, until it is no longer pink, 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, then scatter the tomatoes and penne on top of the sausage. Add the broth and the cream then cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes until pasta is al dente.
- Add the spinach and cover for 1 minute. Remove the lid and stir together to fully wilt the spinach.
- Add in the Parmesan, stir and season with salt and pepper.