This is one of Luke and I's favorite meals and we make it on the reg. Its my cousin Heather's recipe (Love you Heather!) and the first time she made it for me I think I ate 3 bowls. Its so easy to throw together, full of fresh ingredients with no heavy sauce and makes excellent leftover lunches. ( I ate it yesterday for lunch actually)
Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta
1 pound of hot Italian sausage (I use Trader Joe's Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage) casing removed
1 medium onion, sliced (1/4 inch slices/strips)
1-2 bell peppers (your choice of colors) 1/4 inch strips
4-5 gloves of garlic chopped (can use less but garlic is so good)
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
1 pound of penne pasta (I use whole wheat)
1 bag of baby spinach
dried Italian seasoning mix to taste or fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, Italian parsley, etc.
LOTS of Romano cheese (or any hard grated Italian cheese of your choosing)
a large, deep skillet or shallow stock pot, brown sausage in olive oil,
breaking into bite size crumbles during cooking. About 1/2 way through
cooking, add several more tablespoons of olive oil and add peppers and
onions. add salt and pepper. (optional red pepper flakes)
Meanwhile add pasta to salted boiling water. Cook pasta to just before al dente then add asparagus to pasta and water for last minute of cooking. Add spinach and garlic to sausage mixture. (add dry herbs here)
Cook until you can smell garlic and spinach is wilted. Reserve up to 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta and asparagus. Add drained asparagus and pasta to large pan with other ingredients. Mix well, add pasta
water over medium-high heat to pan to form desired sauce (for a richer
sauce, add more olive oil or a tad of butter). Add fresh herbs if using
towards the end.
Serve with more cheese (DUH). Oh and I also put some Trader Joe's Balsamic Glaze on each serving. If you aren't buying their balsamic glaze every week you aren't living.
P.S (I use whatever veggies I have on hand. I've made it with grated zucchini instead of asparagus, peas are good. Really whatever you have on hand!)