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Monday: Orecchiette with Sausage and Spinach

This is a perfect Monday night dish. It’s a quickie, coming in at 30 minutes, and it tastes much more decadent than it is. Need more convincing? Cheese, sausage and pasta – boom! Turkey sausage can be hard to find sometimes so use pork.
Serve: 4     Prep: 5     Cooking: 30

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb Italian turkey sausage – If you can’t find it, use pork
1 shallot, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic
½ cup heavy cream
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
1 lb orecchiette
Kosher salt
Pepper
1 cup ricotta salata or Parmesan
6 oz baby spinach

Instructions

Prep Opportunity
Grate your cheese before you begin.
1
Set a pot of water to boil.
2
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. If using pork, no oil.
3
Add sausage and break it up as it cooks until just browned – 4 minutes.
4
Stir in shallots and cook 4 minutes.
5
Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
6
Stir in heavy cream, nutmeg and pepper flakes if using. Once bubbling, reduce heat to low and stir to thicken – 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
7
Add pasta to salted boiling water and cook to al dente.
8
With a large measuring cup, remove 2 cups of pasta cooking water.
9
Drain pasta and return to the pot over medium heat.
10
Add sausage mixture, ¾ cup of cheese, and 1 cup of the pasta water. Stir to combine.
11
Stir in half of the spinach and cover for 2 minutes.
12
Add remaining spinach, more pasta water if needed, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
13
Taste pasta for salt and pepper. Add if necessary.
14
Serve in bowls with sprinkle of remaining cheese.