Enjoy this savory pasta with chicken sausage, mushrooms, mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach and basil. How can you go wrong with that line-up of delicious ingredients?!
I didn’t want to leave anything out in the title. I’m in love with all the ingredients in this dish.
I quite often buy chicken sausage when I go to the store. It isn’t usually part of my “menu plan” for the week. I buy it for these days:
- Days when I don’t have a meal planned.
- Days when I’m not “feeling” what I have planned.
- Days when something goes wrong with what I have planned. Which never happens. (Eye roll.)
- Days when I end up not having time to make what I have planned. Those are usually nights when my hubs gets home late from work. It is hard to prepare dinner unless he is home to help keep the baby entertained.
I like chicken sausage because it’s fully cooked and keeps for a while in the fridge — at least a couple weeks, making it a perfect back up plan.
And it’s so versatile! I can serve it with rice and veggies or I can throw it into pasta with whatever I have in the house.
I also like the different varieties offered, because I find that they inspire recipes (such as this one.)
The variety of sausage I used in the photos is “Sun-dried tomatoes with mozzarella” and it inspired a delightful pasta dish. Here’s how:
Slice the sausage links and brown them in a bit of olive oil. Remove from the pan, and sauté mushrooms. Toss in spinach leaves and grape tomatoes and briefly cook. Add whole wheat pasta (I like penne), sausage, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella. Aren’t those little mozzarella pearls cute?
There! Healthy, filling, delicious. And as always, easy.
P.S. I like to garnish this pasta dish with toasted pine nuts. Actually I like to garnish everything with toasted pine nuts! Or if you’re a fancy-pants: Pignolias. I could eat them by the handful. But I’d go broke. If you’re not a fan, you can eat this pasta without them, or you could grate some Parmesan over the top. But I would strongly encourage the addition of the pine nuts.
And here’s a hint: To toast the pine nuts, I put them on a paper towel and heat them in the microwave, for 30 second intervals, until they are toasted and fragrant. Don’t tell anyone that I cheat and use the microwave, but why get another pan out?
- 12 oz pasta–I like whole wheat penne rigate
- reserved pasta water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 oz chicken sausage, sliced (sun-dried tomato with mozzarella)
- 16 oz sliced white mushrooms
- 3 oz fresh baby spinach
- 5 oz grape tomatoes
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella pearls (you can dice up any type but the pearls are oh-so-cute!)
- 1/2 chopped fresh basil
- toasted pine nuts for garnish, optional
- Put on water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Remember to reserve about a half cup of pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced sausage and cook until browned and slightly crispy. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate.
- Add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until browned and cooked. Toss in spinach and grape tomatoes and cook until spinach is wilted and tomatoes begin to split.
- Remove from heat and stir in cooked pasta, basil and mozzarella pearls. Stir to combine, adding reserved pasta water to achieve your desired consistency. (I added ~1/2 cup of reserved pasta water.)
- Garnish with toasted pine nuts, if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.