Spinach Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage
Another tongue twister title, but this pasta is sooo good, your tongue will be anything but twisted! Who doesn’t like the delicious taste of basil, spinach, lemon, parmesan cheese, garlic and Italian sausage, oh hello, nobody I know! It’s very quick, very pronto, only about 35 minutes and you’re out watching the sunset, binging on Game of Thrones, staring into your lover’s eyes or just maybe back to doing another load of laundry. Anyway, you will enjoy it, definitely EJlicious, it’s quick, delicious, pretty healthy and easy to prepare. Thank you so much for reading and I hope your week is going well.
- Kosher salt
- 10 ounces mezzi rigatoni
- 4 cups baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
- 5 basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, chopped almonds or walnuts
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 2 sweet Italian chicken sausage links (3 ounces each), casings removed
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain.
Meanwhile, pulse 2 cups spinach, basil, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon each olive oil and nuts, the lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes in a food processor until smooth. Scrape down the sides; add the parmesan and pulse until smooth. Set the pesto aside.
Form the sausage into nickel-size patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip, add the garlic to the skillet and cook until the patties are just cooked through, about 2 more minutes.
Add the pasta, pesto and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water to the skillet. Toss to coat, adding more cooking water as needed; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 2 cups spinach. Top with parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon nuts; drizzle with olive oil.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network