Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fusilli with Spinach, Ricotta and Sausage

We love pasta so I'm always looking for new recipes. I got this one from March's issue of Everyday magazine. Rachael Ray actually used Kale which neither Denis nor I care for so I changed it up a little and used spinach instead. It was simple yet tasty, with a little kick! Sometimes after swimming practice at night I don't feel like cooking so this was a fast and yummy meal to throw together fast.

Fusilli with Spinach, Ricotta and Sausage
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Serves 4, generously


1 pound spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 pound sweet or hot Italian bulk sausage
1 pound short or long fusilli pasta or curly spaghetti (look for an imported Italian pasta)
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small Italian red cherry chile pepper or 1 fresno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
About a 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
A couple of small sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
About 1 1/2 cups fresh sheep's -or cow's milk ricotta cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
Shaved pecorino-romano cheese


Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Once the pasta water is boiling, in a large skillet, drizzle 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, crumbling the meat, and cook until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the garlic and chile pepper to the skillet and stir for a couple minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary.

Whisk the reserved pasta cooking water into the garlic oil. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add mixture to pasta. Then add the sausage, ricotta and some nutmeg; toss vigorously to coat the pasta. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Serve in shallow bowls and top with the pecorino-romano.

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