Hello everyone! Today is mine and Joe’s four year “dating” anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been four years already! We’re celebrating by driving down to the Shenandoah Valley (VA) for the weekend, and I’m excited to finally see Shenandoah National Park. We’ll be spending the weekend at the park and at some wineries, as well as a quick visit to Monticello, so if you’d like to follow along on our adventures, check out my Instagram.
If we were home, I know we’d probably be having either our favorite steak or this pasta for our “fancy” dinner at home. We tend to enjoy special meals at home together for anniversaries and birthdays, rather than going out. That way we can drink too much wine and we won’t have to worry about driving home.
The recipe below is for yet another quick lemon-infused pasta, and it is quickly becoming one of our favorites. This time it has been bulked up with either pork or turkey sausage, they both work well here, and some spinach for that added hit of vegetables we all need in our lives. We like to serve it up with some crusty bread (pictured below) and a nice big salad to share. Oh, and wine of course.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do.
Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Lemon White Wine Sauce (Serves 2-4, depending on your appetite!)
1/2 lb. fettuccine
1/2 lb. turkey or pork sausage, casings removed (we use an Italian sausage but spicy sausage would be equally delicious here)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/3 cup white wine (we tend to use a Pinot Grigio)
Juice & zest of 1 lemon
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp. butter, unsalted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions, approx. 10-12 minutes.* Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add the sausage to the pan and immediately break it into small chunks with a wooden spoon; cook over medium heat until no longer pink and cooked through, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick.
- Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste, and cook for another minute until the garlic is no longer raw.
- Add the white wine, lemon zest, and juice to the pan, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the baby spinach and stir around in the sauce until the spinach is barely wilted, 1-2 minutes more.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and the butter to the pan, and turn off the heat once the butter has melted. Add the pasta into the pan, as well as the Parmesan cheese, and toss everything to coat the pasta with the sauce. If it seems a little dry, add more pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce seems silky and coats the pasta evenly.
- Serve the pasta with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
*Kelly’s Note: I know it’s sacrilegious, but when I cook fettuccine, I add a tiny bit of olive oil to the pasta water before I drop in the pasta. If I don’t, no matter how big my pot of water is, the fettuccine always sticks together into a large, clumpy mess. This is the only pasta shape that does it, though, so I tend to not beat myself up about it, and you shouldn’t either!