Baked Pasta with Sausage (adapted from InStyle Magazine)

Ingredients

1 lb fusilli pasta (or other small thick pasta-we used whole wheat)

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 bag of baby spinach

1 lb sweet Italian sausage (casing removed)

1 medium onion (chopped)

1/2 lb shitake mushrooms (stemmed and sliced - we chopped them to help disguise them from the girls!)

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp grated pecorino Romano cheese

8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup flour

3 cups of milk

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp dry seasoned bread crumbs

 

Directions

  • Cook pasta 2 minutes less than the package indicates. Drain well. Toss with 2 Tbsp olive oil and set aside.
  • Place spinach in a large bowl. I a large skillet over medium heat cook sausage, breaking into smaller pieces until cooked through. Spoon cooked sausage over spinach.
  • Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in skillet. Add onion and mushrooms, cook until mushrooms are tender and onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Toss with sausage and 1 cup cheese. Mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Meanwhile melt butter in saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk. Return saucepan to heat and bring to a simmer. Whisk constantly until sauce has thickened - about 5 minutes. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Stir sauce into the meat mixture. Add the pasta and toss well. In a small bowl combine the remaining cheese with bread crumbs and set aside.
  • Spoon pasta mixture into large baking dish. Cove with foil or lid to dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid or foil. Top with the breadcrumb mixture and return to the oven for 15 more minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes and serve.
  • *** This can be made ahead and refrigerated. You can either cook it and refrigerate it and then just heat up for your meal or you can assemble it and refrigerate and then cook when ready.

Shopping List (items you will need)

baby spinach

sweet Italian sausage

shitake mushrooms

Romano cheese

 

 

 

 

Pantry Items (items you may already have)

pasta

olive oil

onion

unsalted butter

flour

milk

ground nutmeg

salt

pepper

dry seasoned bread crumbs