Rustic Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Spinach recipe is a hearty and healthy pasta meal with a tomato based sauce. Very good paired with a Chianti wine!
Pasta, sausage and greens combine frequently in our home for an easy and tasty meal. The latest wrinkle on this combo, Rustic Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Spinach, features a healthier sausage cooked with onions, peppers and tomatoes, with spinach added at the end.
I often make pasta, sausage and greens without tomatoes, as in this Rigatoni with Collard Greens and Sausage. But I had tomatoes on hand, and was eager to open a special bottle of Chianti. Tomatoes would certainly make that a good wine choice. We were pleased with the tasty results of the Rustic Pasta with Chicken Sausage.
Rustic Pasta with Chicken Sausage Cooking Notes
Browning the sausage in the same skillet that will be used for the sauce adds a bit of flavor; though this is more the case when using pork sausage.
I typically use a pre-cooked sausage. If you are using sausage that isn’t cooked, let the sausage simmer in the tomato mixture for an extra 5 to 10 minutes to get it cooked through.
If you have fresh basil on hand, certainly use a handful of that instead of the dried basil listed in the recipe.
I used elbow macaroni here, but rigatoni or penne would also work well for Rustic Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Spinach.
Wine Pairing for Rustic Pasta with Chicken Sausage
We recently had a chance to meet and sample wines from Elisabetta Fagiuoli, the owner and winemaker of Montenidoli. The venerable Tuscan winemaker was making a return visit to Pairings Wine & Food. She has a tremendous passion for her wines that she conveys as she pours them.
Elisabetta urged that the 2015 Montenidoli Garrulo Chianti Colli Senesi ($20, 14% ABV) be eaten with pasta. Following her advice, we opened this Chianti to go with our Rustic Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Spinach. I get a sense of summer on the nose of this wine. Earthy with notable acidity, the Pairings tasting notes suggest it has “hints of Italian cheese” and I can see that. This Chianti certainly went very well with our pasta; though you could try other good quality Chianti with this recipe, too.
Interestingly, Elisabetta recommended the wine be served a bit chilled. I followed her advice on this front, and the effect was refreshing on a warm summer evening.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus oil spray
- 2 precooked andouille chicken sausages
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ red or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp marjoram
- ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 12 ozs short pasta such as elbows
- ¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese, plus additional for serving
- Spray a large skillet with oil and heat on medium high. Put sausages on skillet to brown, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Remove sausages from heat and place on a plate to cool. When cooled, slice into ½ inch thick pieces and reserve to add back to pasta.
- Begin boiling water for pasta in a large pot around this time.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet, and heat on medium high. Add the onion, sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pepper, sauté for 3 more minutes. Stir in the garlic.
- Add the diced tomatoes to the skillet along with the basil, marjoram and balsamic vinegar. Simmer on medium low for 5 minutes.
- Start cooking the pasta according to package instructions around the time the tomato is added.
- Add the sliced sausages into the skillet, followed by the spinach. You might need to add the spinach in two batches to allow the first batch of spinach to cook down a bit and create more room.
- Stir to combine the ingredients, then simmer covered for 5 minutes.
- When the pasta is cooked to your likely, drain the pasta, then toss immediately with the tomato and spinach mixture. Stir in the ¼ cup of grated cheese.
- Plate the pasta, and pass additional cheese at the table. Enjoy!