Today I want to share a healthy weeknight dinner recipe, especially since we are currently between Thanksgiving and Christmas (two of my proudest eating events of the year). This spicy pasta with sausage and spinach helps to jazz things up in the middle of winter, and is also lighter than most pasta dishes. It’s hearty and comforting without feeling heavy.
It’s great to have something different than regular old spaghetti when I’m trying to plan out meals for the week ahead. This recipe is simple to make and still offers a lot of flavor. It’ll really wake up your tastebuds. Sausage and spinach are flavored with a kick of spice from red pepper flakes. Since the recipe doesn’t take long to prepare it’s one of my go-to weeknight meals.
You can use a few different versions of pasta for the recipe. I chose farfelle, but shells (conchiglie) or orecchiette (“little ear” in Italian—love it) would also be good options. The original version of this recipe from Bev Cooks used gnocchi, which is too heavy for me. Just be sure to use one that will “hold” the sauce well. Whichever kind you choose, make sure to reserve a little pasta water for the sauce.
You’ll want to get out the big skillet for this one. Onion, sausage, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach all go into the pan before you even stir in the pasta. A small bit of white wine helps to deglaze the pan. If you don’t have wine, white wine vinegar will do. And don’t be shy about the spinach, get your greens in! The spinach wilts in no time, so add that last. (If you want to use kale instead of spinach, add it in a little sooner to give it time to soften.) Zest a little parmesan on top to finish it off, and enjoy!
- 1 box farfalle (16 oz.)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 Italian sausages, casings removed
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 8 cups spinach, loosely packed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Parmesan cheese, optional
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 4-6 minutes until soft. Add the sausage and red pepper flakes and break apart the sausage with a spoon. Cook for 4-5 minutes until browned. Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the spinach one handful at a time. Cook until the spinach is wilted and bright green. Reduce the heat to low. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Add enough pasta water to create a thin sauce, approximately 1/2 cup. Remove from heat and top with parmesan if desired.