Thursday, November 4, 2010

A One-Pot Wonder

Pasta with Sausage and SpinachOh, how much do I love a delicious dinner with only one pot to clean at the end of it? Let me count the ways. Or not. Why go to all that trouble? Let's just recap: it's delicious and clean-up is a breeze. I'm good with that. 

Well, this here is just such a dish. A one-pot wonder if you will. It has the added feature of tasting so much more complicated than it actually is, and well, I  kind of like that about it too. Did I mention how adaptable it is? Substitutions, additions, and even subtractions, whether accidental or intentional, are no problem at all.

The recipe is built around pantry and freezer staples, so it's quite budget friendly and as a result we make it fairly often. Especially on weeknights. Especially in the winter. And especially when the thought of staring down another big pile of dirty dinner dishes will send me right over the ever-lovin' edge. Is it any wonder that this is one of our favorites?

Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

3-4 Italian sausages, casings removed, sliced or crumbled (or use 1 lb ground sausage meat)
1 small onion, chopped
1 pint fresh mushrooms, sliced or quartered
2 cloves garlic, pressed, smashed or minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1/2 pound spaghetti
12 ounces spinach, washed and torn
1/2 cup half-and-half
Large handful grated Romano cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

1. In a large pot (or Dutch oven) over medium heat, cook the sausage until it begins to release some of the fat. Add the chopped onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the chicken broth, water and wine to the pot. Bring to a boil and add the spaghetti. Stir until it sinks into the liquid, then keep stirring occasionally until the pasta is al dente, 7 - 8 minutes or so.

3. Add the spinach, stir, then cover and turn heat down. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir again, while adding the half-and-half, then stir occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Add the grated Romano and continue to cook on low heat until sauce has thickened.

4. Season with ground pepper. (Serves 4)

Notes: Sauce may be a little green from all the Popeye-goodness. If that's bothersome, just eat by candle-light or use a bit less spinach. Here's why I love this dish: One time I started to make it and found that I was out of white wine, didn't have an onion, I forgot to put the garlic in, and we were out of  half-and-half. I used whole milk and some plain yogurt in place of the half-and-half. It didn't thicken up too much so I threw a pat of butter in and that seemed to do the trick (doesn't it always?). It still tasted great!
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  1. ooooh! sounds yummy...I may try it this weekend

  2. SharkBait... I think I'm going to make it this weekend too. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Well Stephanie, I made it this morning for a BD thing at noon. It took no time at all and smelled fabulous. I only had parmesian cheese and used the dried wild mushroom mix instead. Now, how to keep it hot while waiting for the party without ruining it?

  4. SharkBait... Parmesan is great in this (I used the Romano because it's cheaper) and I'm glad to know that dried mushrooms will work since I have a couple jars full that I dried earlier this year.

    As for keeping it hot to serve later... I usually make it for weeknight dinners, so we eat it as soon as it's done cooking! Maybe the old "put it in a casserole dish, cover with foil and stick in a low oven" trick would work?


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