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What a hard dish to name!  This dinner can be made in less than 30 minute and is packed full of flavor and veggies.  Creamy pasta sauce mixed with sausage, seasonings, red peppers, artichoke hearts, spinach, and parmesan cheese, yum!

I love this dish because I can make it on even the most hectic of nights and it tastes like I worked all day on it.  It also takes only one pan which means a quick clean up too, what more could you ask for?  I think the most important part of this dinner is the type of sausage used.  Since the sausage is one of the main “flavorings” in the dish, it will really affect the flavor of the overall dish.  So make sure you choose carefully when deciding what to buy.  Personally, I like to use hot Italian sausage (either sliced as links or ground) but a flavorful chicken sausage would be good too or even diced chicken breast, just make sure it is well seasoned.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small or half a large onion, diced
  • 12-16 ounces of sausage such as Spicy Italian (either sliced or casings removed)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups penne pasta (I use whole wheat)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts (not marinated), quartered
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

My kids like this dish too, I think it’s because it has pasta and what kid doesn’t like that?  (It also may be because you could almost pass it off as a “glorified mac ‘n cheese.)  Not only do they identify with the taste, but they get a lot of veggies in the process, a win win!

Sausage, Spinach, Pepper, Pasta

In a large skillet heat oil.  Add onions, sausage, and salt, cook until sausage is cooked, about 5 minutes.  Add in the sliced red pepper, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, and red pepper flakes, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.  Pour penne evenly over mixture and cover with broth and cream.  Stir in artichoke hearts.

Cover the skillet and cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes or until the pasta is just cooked.

Remove lid and stir in spinach until well incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.  Remove pasta from  the heat and mix in the cheese.  Serve immediately with crusty bread to soak up the sauce.