Penne Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, and Spinach
- 1 package Uncle Charley's Hot Italian sausage
- 2-3 T olive oil
- 3/4 lb. thickly sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 red onion, cut into thin slivers
- 5 cloves finely minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 10 oz. baby spinach leaves
- 1 1/4 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth
- 1/2 lb. (2 cups dry) penne pasta
- 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving)
- salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
- Fill a medium-sized pot with water, add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil to cook the pasta. Wash spinach if needed and spin dry or dry with paper towels.
- Poach sausage links, just covered with water and a lid, for about 10 min. Drain off the water.
- Heat about 2 tsp. olive oil in the same large heavy skillet, add sausages and cook until well browned. Let sausage cool, then slice in rounds and brown again, adding a bit more oil if needed.
- As soon as pasta water boils, add the pasta, stir, reduce heat to a low boil and cook just until pasta is al-dente. Drain cooked pasta in a colander placed in the sink.
- While pasta cooks, slice mushrooms and red onions and mince garlic. Remove browned sausage to a bowl, add a little more oil to the pan and add mushrooms, cooking 3-4 minutes or until they start to release liquid. Add the red onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook about 5-6 minutes more, or until mushrooms are lightly browned and onions are cooked.
- Put sausage back into the pan with the mushrooms and onions, add the stock and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the sausage is hot. Then add the spinach all at once, tossing with the hot mushrooms-sausage mixture until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the drained pasta and heat for a minute or two. Then add both kinds of cheese and toss until the cheese melts and coats the pasta, about 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot, with more Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on at the table if desired.
Modified from Kalyn's Kitchen.