Tuscan Sausage Pasta
Tuscan sausage pasta only uses two pots and is a quick, 30-minute dinner with lots of delicious Italian flavors.

Is it just me, or has it been particularly difficult to decide what to make for dinner lately?

OK, so I know it’s definitely not just me—it’s Joey, too. If you’re not having this same “let’s stare at each other until one of us breaks and makes a decision” moment every evening, I envy you. Honestly, a few days ago, I just ate a bowl of cereal like I was still in college. Joey judged me pretty hard, but he stopped when I pointed out that he didn’t have any idea of what we should eat, either.

After a few days of this same routine, I decided that I was going to find something new online, make an executive decision, and we were going to have at least one pre-planned meal, and let me tell you, the recipe I tried was not only super delicious, but it was quick and used a minimum of dishes to accomplish, too.

The recipe I found was on the blog “Salt & Lavender.” You can find the original at https://www.saltandlavender.com/tuscan-sausage-pasta/. I increased the garlic in my version.

Tuscan Sausage Pasta

Tuscan sausage pasta only uses two pots and is a quick, 30-minute dinner with lots of delicious Italian flavors.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: 30-minute meal, basil, cream sauce, garlic, pasta, sausage, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta of your choice
  • 10-11 ounces hot or mild Italian sausage
  • 6-8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes drained
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
  • about 1 teaspoon fresh basil minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese to taste

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, if the sausage is in casings, remove them and then cook the sausage over medium heat in a large skillet until the sausage is cooked through. (Crumble it as you cook it.)
  • When the sausage is nearly cooked through, remove it from the pan and drain off all but about 1/2 tablespoon of grease.
  • Add the garlic, broth, mustard, flour and lemon juice and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet as you do so to loosen any cooked-on spots. After about one minute, add the sun-dried tomatoes and heavy cream, and cook for two more minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sausage back to the pan (careful to avoid adding grease back in with it), and stir regularly, letting the sauce thicken.
  • When the sauce has thickened to your liking, add in the spinach, basil and salt and pepper and stir until it wilts slightly. Add in the pasta and stir to coat. Top with parmesan, and serve.

I used spicy sausage, and it was really, really good. I also think you could get away with just using milk in the sauce, although it may not want to thicken as nicely.

Joey was pleasantly surprised by both how delicious this was and that we avoided the normal “What do you want for dinner?” conversation that evening.

Unfortunately, my plan completely backfired, as he announced after the first bite that I should be in charge of always deciding what we’re eating every night, since I’m apparently really good at it.

I told him he shouldn’t push his luck. After all, I doubt he’ll be as keen on the idea when he sees the family-sized box of raisin bran I have in the pantry.

I used spicy sausage, and it was really, really good. I also think you could get away with just using milk in the sauce, although it may not want to thicken as nicely.

Joey was pleasantly surprised by both how delicious this was and that we avoided the normal “What do you want for dinner?” conversation that evening.

Unfortunately, my plan completely backfired, as he announced after the first bite that I should be in charge of always deciding what we’re eating every night, since I’m apparently really good at it.

I told him he shouldn’t push his luck. After all, I doubt he’ll be as keen on the idea when he sees the family-sized box of raisin bran I have in the pantry.

This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 27, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.