I thought I would share one of my go-to answers for that age old question: "What's for dinner?" It's cheap, easy, and only requires two dirty pans. Plus, it tastes pretty good too! I hope it ends up in your weeknight meal repertoire.
Sausage and Spinach Pasta
1 lb mild Italian sausage (pork or chicken)
3 cups or 28 oz can of your favorite marinara sauce
6 oz bag of baby spinach
Pasta (I use penne rigate)
Parmigiano-Reggiano or Percorino cheese
1. Get big pot of water on to boil.
2. Remove sausage from casing. Heat a large pan on high heat, add a little olive oil, brown sausage, breaking it into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
3. Drain any excess fat from the pan. (I just tilt to pan and spoon the grease into an old coffee can.)
4. On low heat add your sauce, stir to scrape up all the love on the bottom of the pan. (Rinse your can or jar with a little water and pour that in, our my Italian great-grandmother will haunt you for wasting sauce.)
* Happen to have a bottle of red wine open? A generous splash would be much appreciated.
5. Add the spinach, it will seem like too much, but don't worry it wilts to nothing. (You could, of course, skip the spinach - but then what would your mother say? Plus, now you don't have to make a salad.)
* Taste test, it shouldn't need any salt, but maybe a little pepper or fresh basil?
6. Cook your pasta, with a good pinch of salt, until al dente. Drain. Toss with a scoop or two of the sauce. Serve with more sauce on top and lots of freshly grated cheese.
P.S. - Got left-overs? Layer the pasta and sauce with ricotta and mozzarella, bake at 350 until hot and bubbly, and you've got yourself a baked zitti!