Sausage and Spinach Rigatoni

This is honestly a recipe that I make differently each time, but miraculously, it always tastes the same. I have made this in about 10 minutes, when I knew my parents were in town and hadn’t had lunch yet, I’ve made this for a nice dinner with wine, and I’ve made it a sort of “bake” for a quick lunch. Versatile! (and who knows what version of this recipe I’ll write down here).

Sausage and Spinach Rigatoni

1 package turkey sausage links, removed from casings (the package I buy has 6 large links)
2 cups large diameter Rigatoni pasta (big tubes are fun)
1/2 cup white wine (what you’d want to drink)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain
1/2 cup Ricotta cheese (this is where it varies. I’ve used everything from heavy cream to sour cream – whatever is in the fridge)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp Kosher Salt
A swirl of olive oil

If any of you have my cookbook, I realize this recipe is in there, but I’m not getting up to go find what version is in there. This is how I’d make this recipe today and so it stands. 🙂

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, swirl a bit of olive oil (extra virgin) on the bottom of the pan. Remove sausages from their casings (kitchen shears make this easy) and toss into pan. Break up the sausage as it browns into small, bite sized pieces. Deglaze* the pan from time to time with the white wine and once the sausage is all cooked, put the rest of the wine in there. If you used it all in the deglazing process, just add a little more (maybe a little more than a splash? haha-honestly, I have no idea anymore how to measure this recipe out).
Meanwhile, put water on to boil and cook pasta to package instructions.
Stir in Ricotta cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, minced garlic and salt. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes till it gets bubbly again. Stir in the thawed spinach and cook for 1 minute more. Drain your pasta and throw in the skillet. Stir to coat evenly, sprinkle salt over the top and give it one last stir. Ladle into pasta bowls, top with a little extra dash of salt and crushed red pepper and serve.
Serves 4

variations: ladle into 16oz. souffle cups, top with Parmesan cheese and put under the broiler until cheese is brown and bubbly.
*for those who may not know (you know who you are), deglazing is a process where the fat or juices from meat are becoming caramelized on the bottom of the pan, so you pour liquid (broth, wine, water) into the pan to loosen and scrape up the brown bits – this is where the flavor is, so you don’t want to miss out!

(I’ve never taken a picture of this dish so here’s a nice picture of different sizes of pasta – I’d probably use the second one from the right)



Filed under Food Stuffs

2 responses to “Sausage and Spinach Rigatoni

  1. Can you use less spinach? Like half a package? I don’t know… the spinach makes me queasy. I loved it when you made it for us, but to cook with it is what affects me. As long as I’m not looking at it, I can eat it with no problem. Yes, I know how crazy I am, but I have to deal with my craziness somehow. 🙂 And, did you use Ricotta the day we came by? Or was it Parmesan? I really love the fact that you can cook! I just have no idea where you got that talent.

  2. yeah, you can use less spinach. That day you came over, I knew I was cooking for you, so I used a little less than half a package. There was a little Ricotta in it and I topped it with Parmesan before I put it in the broiler. For a less queasy effect, you might just toss in some fresh spinach at the last minute and stir it around and by the time you plate it, it will have wilted.

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