This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less •
It’s just so sadly ironic, really. The plight of this poor recipe. (Imagine sweetly sorrowful violin music here, and maybe a deep, droopy bassoon.)
“Ironic? But why?” You must be thinking in astonishment. “This recipe looks amazing!” (Well, you’re right about that – it sure is.)
And you’re probably sizing it up now: “A satisfying bed of pasta draped in a lusciously creamy tomato sauce, studded with gorgeous fresh basil and the flavorful kick of Italian sausage! My, oh my!” (Are you actually thinking that to yourself?!?!)
Next you’re glancing at the ingredient list. (Go ahead and take a peek … we’ll wait for you right here …… Ok – are you back? Good.) So now you’re thinking, “Huh. I just don’t see the irony. It’s great! All that creamy-dreamy-satisfying pasta goodness, yet totally loaded with nutrition!” (Yeah – you’re right again! And notice how the spinach is chopped right up so it pretty much looks just like the basil and even your veggie-averse kiddos won’t worry about it … yep … brilliant!)
Honestly, we’ve been dying to share this recipe with you for more than a year now. No, really! Shelley created it back before we’d even started posting recipes here at THK. We love it, and we know you’ll love it, too!
It totally passed its battery of THK taste tests with flying colors, and we actually photographed it and had it all ready for you clear back last summer. On a gorgeously sunny July day, as our kids played with neighborhood friends … we staged and posed this pasta in all its creamy-tomatoey deliciousness, just so we could be ready to share it with you. In fact, after it was photographed, there was a line of kids begging for lunch. They ate all of it. Seriously.
So Where’s The Irony????
You’re just not seeing a problem, right? No need for sad violin and droopy bassoon?
Well, here’s the thing.
This pasta dinner is so family-pleasingly yummy, and so gosh-darn easy … that it’s awesome pretty much any day (every day!?!?!?) of the year! Any Day! Even busy, busy days!
And that’s where the problem comes in.
That’s the irony, friends! (Cue sappy violin and droopy bassoon …)
We kept bumping it down the line of our jam-crammed editorial schedule! It didn’t have apples or pumpkin for fall (but no worries, we could post it any day) … bump! It wasn’t a luscious treat for Sweetest Day or orange-and-black-and-spooktacular for Halloween (but we really could post it just any day) … bump again! It wasn’t a Christmas cookie or a Super Bowl snack or a heart-shaped Valentine treat … bump, bump … bump …
And so this wonderfully perfect-for-any-day recipe just kept waiting, all ready and delicious … just waiting for you!
Now, after the long, agonizing, ironic wait … NOW is the day friends!
Nestled between the Shamrock Shake of St. Paddy’s Day and the upcoming egg-aliciousness of Easter … NOW is the day! (Imagine the violins and bassoons giving way to the fanfare of trumpets and happily trilling flutes …)
This so-good-you-will-make-it-again-and-again-ANY-DAY pasta … has now had its day.
We love it. You’ll love it. It’s easy and healthy and delicious. And it’s perfect any day.
… more trilling fanfare …
Our work here is done.
- 12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 10-12 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage (bulk, or links with casings removed)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 14.5 ounce can chunky tomato bisque (we use Amy's Organic)
- 2/3 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish, if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup loosely packed baby spinach, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup loosely packed basil, finely chopped
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Meanwhile, preheat a nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and then onions, cooking until onions are translucent and beginning to soften (about 3-4 minutes). Add sausage and garlic. Continue cooking until sausage is cooked through, stirring to crumble (about 5 minutes more).
- Add bisque, ricotta, parmesan, salt and pepper to skillet and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and stir in spinach and basil.
- Serve sauce over warm penne. Alternately, you can toss the pasta right into the skillet with your tomato sauce, stir it together, and serve it homestyle directly from the skillet.
- Garnish with parmesan, if desired.