Cholee is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys creating family and budget-friendly recipes from scratch.
Pasta is a staple for most families, however my husband would prefer if I never made pasta. To try and please all members in my family I have been experimenting with different styles and flavors when making pasta dishes. We are big meat eaters so today I'm creating a dish that is the perfect vehicle for meat and other veggies. After all a pasta dish can be more than just pasta and sauce.
The Italian sausage added to this dish makes for a spicy addition to what some people would consider bland pasta. With other simple additions you can make any pasta dish something special. I am using coined sausage links for this recipe, however if you are like my husband and prefer meatballs, you could easily substitute the sausage for easy Italian meatballs.
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A dinner for 4
*Note: Cook time may take longer depending on what you put in your pasta and how you prepare the sausage.
- 1 Box Pasta, (Penne, Bow Tie, Rigatoni work best)
- 1 Jar Red pasta sauce, (Red works best with the Italian sausage)
- 4 Italian Sausage, (I used Johnsonville mild, however any kind will work)
- 1/2-1 Cup Spinach
- Boil salt and water for pasta (following directions on the box). Heat a large frying pan for Italian sausage.
- Boil pasta while frying the sausage.
- In a small pot boil water and spinach until warm.
- Add sauce, heated spinach, and cooked sausage to a pot. Bring to a simmer.
- Drain pasta.
- Add the sauce to pasta and stir until well coated.
- Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
Pasta add ins:
- Heavy Cream or Whole Milk: Adds a richness to your sauce and gives you a more creamy consistency.
- Peppers and Onions: Red and Orange peppers are sweeter and merry well with the sausage. Green and Jalapeno peppers add addition spiciness that brings out the flavors of the sausage. Onions sweet or otherwise also make for great addition when cooking with sausage.
- Cheese: Every dish could always use a dash of cheese. My go to cheeses are Romano, Parmesan, Mozzarella, and Fontina.
- Spinach: I love adding small amounts of spinach to my pasta. It's a great way to incorporate a healthy green.
These additions are some of my favorites to use. The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding flavor and flare to your pasta dishes. If you have favorites feel free to leave your add-ins in the comments section below. In my opinion recipes are meant to be tried, experimented with, and enjoyed the way you like them! My favorite part of cooking is finding new recipes that I can tweak to my family's liking and this recipe is perfect for that.
If you choose to add peppers they can be added to the sauce. Simmering in the sauce will make them soft and ready for eating. However, the heavy cream or whole milk should be added to the sauce before you add any other additional ingredients. Adding the cream or milk first will allow a nice richness to form in the sauce, which the other ingredients can then flavor.
Pasta for any occasion, this pasta dish with Italian sausage is a great addition to any family meal plan. Cheap and easy to make, this dish is perfect for budget friendly meal planning.
© 2013 Cholee Clay
Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on December 14, 2018:
You are certainly speaking my language. I read recently that in cold weather, people naturally crave high carbohydrate foods, such as pastas. Of course this is a defence mechanism for survival, carbs tend to equate to putting on weight, and this defends some against the cold.
We've got a cold front coming in today here, and I'm going to definitely cook some pasta!
Ingenira on April 23, 2013:
These recipes look easy ! Thanks !