I truly love discovering quality foods to cook with…recently I came across Applegate Farms Breakfast Sausage at my local Whole Foods Market. The sausages are really, really, really good. Really. So, I thought, why limit myself to just breakfast? Inspired by my dad’s recipe for a 1960s favorite—Egg Noodles and Sausage Toss—I devised this recipe. It’s a hit, except with my son who dislikes green things in his food. Oh well, like so many good-for-you foods, in Sam’s case, the spinach is optional.
Savory Cavatappi with Pork Sausage & Veggies
- 1 package (16 ounces) Cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta (or try bowties, penne, etc., any shape will do!)
- 4 tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided
- 1 package (8 ounces) Applegate Farms Classic Pork Breakfast Sausage
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes (any colors and varieties), halved
- about 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed and dried
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- small basil leaves, optional
Cook the Cavatappi according to package directions. Before draining it, reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Drizzle it with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the reserved cooking liquid, and toss. Cover the pasta to keep it warm.
While the pasta is cooking, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet, and saute the sausage over medium low heat. Remove the sausage to a cutting board. Slice the sausage diagonally into 1 inch pieces.
Keeping the heat on medium low, add the onions and garlic to the pan, and saute them for a few minutes until they soften. Add the tomatoes and cook them for 2 minutes, then add the sliced sausages. Next, add the spinach and cook it until it just begins to wilt. Be careful not to overcook it, since it will become mushy and lose its brilliant green color.
Pour the sausage mixture over the pasta, and gently toss it. Sprinkle it with the Parmesan cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste, and toss it again.
If you like, add some small basil leaves and a sprinkling of extra Parmesan cheese to each serving.
This recipe lends itself to all kinds of good veggie variations, so have fun experimenting!