Penne Pasta Recipe As Good As It Gets
We prepared this penne pasta with chicken grillers (chicken sausages) my wife picked up at the Farmers Market. We went with chicken sausages because my oldest daughter gave up red meat for Lent.
It’s really changed our cooking habits this month but really isn’t that big a deal. We’re eating more chicken and fish and substituting turkey for pork and beef.
This dish begs wild mushrooms like crimini, shitake, hen of the woods but we had white button mushrooms on had so that’s what we went with.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how good this meal turned out. My daughter had a couple of last minute friends over and we all raved how tasty it was. I’m going to put it into my As Good As It Gets category and it couldn’t have been any easier to prepare.
My wife and I enjoyed a glass of 2009 Villa Mattieli Amarone della Valpolicella that went perfectly with this meal. Well, may two glasses.
Penne with Chicken Sausage Spinach and Mushrooms Recipe
- 1 pound chicken sausages pork sausages work too
- ¾ pound penne pasta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil more if needed
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 pound button mushrooms
- ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper more if you like it hot
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme finely chopped
- 12 ounces fresh spinach leaves no stems please (the pre washed packages work well)
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- Heat up the grill and cook the sausages. You can also cook them in a pan on top of the stove. After they are cooked and cool enough to handle, cut them up into ¼ inch slices and reserve.
- Heat up a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt then add the pasta and let it cook until al dente. Be sure to reserve a cup of the pasta water before you drain the pasta in case you need it for the sauce.
- Heat up a large fry pan big enough to hold the sauce and the past over medium high heat. Add the oil and when it’s hot, add the onion. Sauté for a few minutes until it begins to soften, then add the garlic. Let this cook for a minute or two then add the mushrooms.
- Add the crushed red pepper and let the mushrooms cook until they loose all their liquids and start to brown. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and fresh thyme and top with fresh spinach leaves. Toss and let this cook until the spinach wilts, just a couple of minutes. If you don’t think there will be enough sauce, add a little of the reserved pasta water. I like to add some because the water has starch in it from the pasta and helps the sauce stick to the pasta.
- Add the sausage slices and stir. Hopefully the pasta is ready at this time and should be added to the sauce and stirred to coat.
- Add the grated mozzarella cheese and stir into the pasta until it melts and both the cheese and sauce coat the pasta.
- Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.