Like any good dinner, this one began with me putting on an episode of one of my favorite TV shows to watch while I cooked:
I assembled my ingredients:
- half a pound of whole wheat mafaldine (check out this post to find out more about mafaldine) or your favorite pasta
- 2 medium zucchini
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms
- 4 Italian style chicken sausage
- 1 large orange bell pepper
- a couple big handfuls of spinach (I didn’t measure it, but see the picture below)
- half a red onion, a swirl of olive oil, a few healthy glugs of white wine, and butter (all unpictured – what can I say, I like to improvise with what I have on hand!)
I didn’t end up using the mozzarella cheese because shortly after taking this picture, I realized that is was spotted with mold (even though the sell by date wasn’t for another week!) and I’m not really into moldy cheese in my dinner.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions for al dente.
Prep the veggies and chicken sausage:
Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and then cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a tablespoon of butter and continue cooking for another few minutes until the mushrooms are browned.
Add the bell pepper, zucchini, and chicken sausage and saute for another 5 – 7 minutes until the vegetables are soft. When the veggies are soft and the chicken sausage is heated through, deglaze the pan with a few healthy glugs of white wine. If you’re not really into white wine, you can substitute chicken stock.
When the wine has reduced, add the cooked pasta and about 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water. While the pasta water reduces, roughly chop a healthy amount of spinach.
Add the spinach to the pot, a handful at a time. It will look like it isn’t going to fit, but as it wilts, it will all fit.
Portion into four dishes (two for dinner tonight, two for lunch tomorrow) and serve.
The white wine and pasta water combination created a very light sauce which didn’t overpower the flavors of the pasta or the veggies. The chicken sausage provided a source of protein, but I could take it or leave it. Overall, for something that I created on the fly, this was quite good.