Monday, June 4, 2012

Penne with Tomato Cream Sauce and Spinach

I seem to menu plan in themes. Last time I planned our two week menu, it was all Asian themed. The time before that, all Mexican. Up to this point, none of this has been on purpose - however, I will be far more aware of this trend now that I have noticed. Our menu is mostly based on a combination of recipes I want to try and what I am in the mood for. I won't make anything I don't currently feel like eating.

As you can tell from this recipe, I am currently cooking all things Italian. I was doubly excited about this recipe because not only does it look and sound yummy, I also had some Greek yogurt that I needed to use up.

And now for a confession: I never actually buy garlic cloves. I buy the big jar of pre-minced garlic. Needless to say, I never know exactly how many garlic cloves I am putting in, I just wing it. But, let's be honest, I'm not always super consistent at measuring when it comes to cooking anyways. 

Yield: 6-8 Servings

1 lb pasta of your choice (I chose penne)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.), chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 cups fresh spinach
1 lb ground hot Italian sausage
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Cook the ground Italian Sausage, drain, and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook until garlic begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat and add in the cooked Italian sausage. Continue cooking for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the spinach, and cover the skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and add in the Greek yogurt, marinara sauce, and Parmesan cheese and stir until well blended. Add the pasta. Stir until the noodles are coated.

Source: adapted from Back to her Roots

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