Monday, December 12, 2011

{recipe} skillet pasta with sausage and spinach.

happy monday! i hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! my weekend was filled with outlet shopping, picking up the last few gifts on my list, playing lots of frisbee with buckley, then washing said bulldog and enjoying a sunday dinner with my future in-laws. it wasn't a crazy busy weekend, but a productive one nonetheless. as i get older is more comforting spending a weekend being productive then a weekend where i sleep most of it away, it is bizarre to think about because since i never thought is wouldn't miss sleeping all day.

matt and i leave next week for christmas in alabama! i am excited for all the fun with have in store for us, which includes a party bus to nashville! but before that can happen, the last few gifts i ordered online have to arrive, and i need to begin wrapping things and making sure everything is ready to go.oh yea, and i need to drop half my wardrobe off at the cleaners and get around to that laundry that is piling up.

i will admit that on friday, i didn't feel like washing sheets and i religious changes our sheets every friday, so what did i do? i went out an bought another pair, because oh yea, the extras sets we have are also still dirty because i have boycotted laundry. only i would buy new sheets instead of washing the ones we have...but you have to understand that doing laundry in our condo requires, quarters, a new key to the laundry room (which we haven't yet gone down and gotten yet) and it just seemed like too much effort. and plus you can never have too many pairs of sheets! sadly this week i will be facing the laundry though because i need clothes to pack...

speaking of packing, the hardest part about going away for long periods of time for me is packing, add winter into the mix and i swear i will be packing 4+ bags, just to make it the week i will be down in alabama. sweaters, jackets, boots, and flats just take up way too much room. so this trip i have promised myself, i will bring things that can get reworn, i will plan outfits by the day and only pack an extra outfit or two. i will keep you posted on if my packing is a success, or if i end up packing my entire closet.

in the meantime, i wanted to share a recipe i made last week for matt and i. it is the quintessential weeknight meal for a few reasons, basic ingredients, simple to make and it only requires one large pan! which in our house translates to less dishes, which is a HUGE win regardless of how it tastes. but luckily for us it was fantastic and 100 times better then any of those frozen pasta dishes you find at your local grocery store and probably 1000 times better for you! so next time you don't know what to make on a weeknight and want a hassle-free meal, do me a favor try this one, and let me know what you think! enjoy!

Skillet Pasta with Sausage and Spinach.

Serves: 4.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb hot or sweet Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
3 1/4 cups water
8 oz (2 1/2 cups) penne, ziti, or rotini pasta
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, dried, and chopped fine
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
3/4 cup to 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
6 oz baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Stir in wine, water, pasta, tomatoes, and salt.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until penne is tender and liquid has thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.  Stir in 3/4 cup of cream or half-and-half; increase the amount up to 1 cup if the dish needs a little thinning after you add the spinach in the next step.
3. Stir in spinach, one handful at time, and cook until wilted. Off heat, stir in Parmesan and pine nuts (if using, matt announced after this meal he hates pine nuts, so i will be removing them in the future. my wallet is not complaining).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot. 

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