Spinach and sausage pasta

By on June 11, 2014

This summer there are countless amounts of farmers markets popping up all over Birmingham. One of my favorite things about summer is getting up early and hopping around town to visit all of the local produce stands and imagining fun recipes in which to use the ingredients. We citizens of Birmingham should count our blessings that we have so many local farmers who love to bring us the freshest fruits and vegetables and livestock farmers that want us to have the best quality of meat possible. With these contributions to the community it’s easy for a food fanatic such as myself to get obscenely giddy about cooking during the summer.

The only downside to summer is most people see summer as a time of freedom. Freedom means letting loose of your personal rules and guidelines which can often mean that your pants start to tighten. It’s important to remember that even though it’s summer, you need to still maintain a healthy diet. I’ve recently started making meals that have all of the important elements of the food pyramid enrolled in one delicious dish. I always make sure I have protein and veggies and the occasional carbohydrate on my plate. I’ve also learned to take the phrase, “Eat the colors of the rainbow” seriously, as well. I’ve made sure that all of the ingredients I use are green (celery, kale, etc.), yellow (squash, peppers), and other bright healthy colors. My favorite thing to buy at a farmers market it fresh spinach. That counts as my green! There’s also something truly satisfying about the taste of fresh spinach. So finding recipes that involve this leafy delight are a must for my summer meals. As we all know spinach is full of fiber and is impressively filling for a vegetable so that makes it the perfect green to add to any meal.

Another thing I’ve learned to cook with is whole grain pasta (particularly penne pasta). Whole grain pasta has fewer calories than plain white pasta and adds more flavor to whatever dish you’re making. And remember when I mentioned local livestock farmers that make delicious meats for us to enjoy? Local Birmingham sausage is a must when cooking these delicious summer meals. Thanks to www.budgetbytes.com, I’ve found a wonderfully colorful summer recipe that incorporates all of these ingredients.

What You’ll Need

  • 6 ounces of smoked sausage
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 1 can of Rotel
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 8 ounces of pasta
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of shredded monterrey jack cheese

First, turn your stove to medium heat and place a pan with the olive oil inside on the stove. Slice up your sausage and place it in the pan. Saute the sausage until browned (about 7 minutes).

Take your chopped onion and add it to the skillet and continue to saute until the onions are slightly translucent.

Next, add your can of Rotel and your chicken broth. Stir this mixture together and make sure you get all of the brown bits off of the bottom of the pan.

Now here’s where we get a little crazy, readers. We’re gonna take our pasta and pour it into the mixture and let it cook with everything else! Make sure the pasta is fully submerged under the liquid and let it come to a boil.

When it reaches a boil, turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for ten minutes.

Now slowly add your spinach one cup at a time and wait until each cup has time to wilt, all while continuously stirring.

Next, add your shredded cheese and let the mixture sit with the lid on top until the cheese melts.

This dish is refreshing and delicious and really brings a refreshing taste to your usual pasta dish. Happy Summer and Happy Eating!

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