I have been a bit sporadic with Mealtime Monday posting this year, but I’m back today with a recipe idea from Cooking Light for skillet toasted penne pasta. By slowly cooking the pasta in a skillet, it brings out a lot of flavor.
- 6 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 1 cup sliced onion
- 13 ounces Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon dried pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- Grated parmesan cheese
I have started being better about prepping my ingredients prior to starting the meal to help with the panic mid cooking of needing something that is not yet clean and cut. Also, since I have been working longer days lately, Alex has been fantastic with prepping and even cooking more, so it has been great!
While prepping the ingredients, you can add your stock to a saucepan on simmer. You want to keep your broth warm for this recipe throughout, but not to have it boiling.
Next, in a large skillet over medium/high heat add 1 tablespoon oil and your dry penne pasta.
Saute for about 5 minutes or until you start to see some browning and smell the nutty flavor.
Remove pasta into a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, onion & sausage (removed from casing).
Saute until onions are softened and the meat is cooked through, using your spatula to crumble the sausage as it cooks.
Set the meat mixture aside.
Add your toasted pasta back into the original skillet and reduce heat to medium/low. Add one cup of your warmed stock at a time, allowing it to absorb and cook down before adding more.
This process will take awhile, so be patient. You will notice the pasta soften & plump more with each addition of stock.
Once you are on the last cup of stock, add your spinach to the pan.
Stir around to allow the spinach to wilt and mix in with the pasta.
Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the meat mixture, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt & pepper flakes to the pan. Stir together and remove from heat.
Serve and top with a little more parmesan cheese if desired. This is a time consuming meal and not great for a weeknight, but very flavorful and worth it on occasion.