Folks, forgive my absence, or my lack of normal communication with so many of you but hey, it's Mardi Gras and well, I'm a little busy. Not only enjoying the festivities but also preparing for the so many activities during these l-o-n-g weeks of carnival. As many of you know, our company provides decorations, scenery, stage sets, standing and hanging props, tablescapes, oversees lighting & sound and so much more for the many Mardi Gras balls, events and parties, even wardrobes for the Kings & Queens. Yep, it's a busy time...
Some nights I need something quick to 'throw together', something that's delicious and something not from fast-food establishments. I try to avoid those places no matter how tired I am. This is one of those meals, an all-in-one skillet meal, (except for cooking the pasta) that goes together quickly and comes out so very tasty. Enjoy!
Quick Sausage, Spinach & Pasta Skillet
1 pound farfalle (butterflies) pasta, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 -16 oz package sweet Italian sausage
1 large leek, washed thoroughly and white & light green part divided
1 tablespoon margarine
2 tablespoons brown flour*
Fresh ground black peppercorns
1 cup chicken broth
1 -9 oz package baby spinach, rinsed and dried well
4 green onions, diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Slice the leek into thin pieces separating the white from the green part.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Remove casings from sausage, add to skillet and cook, breaking sausage into small bite-size pieces. Let sausage brown. Add the green leeks and cook for about 5 minutes stirring until softened. Add the white part, stir for a minute and then stir in the margarine. Sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture and stir to mix. Season with a few turns of the pepper mill and add the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
Toss in the pasta, stir to mix well and add spinach, green onions on top of mixture. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes. Stir to incorporate and plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve.
*Note: I keep a jar of brown flour handy for when I need a quick thickener just like this one. You don't have to worry about having to cook the flour taste out. Simply add a cup or two to a large cast iron skillet, heat in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until light to medium brown. You have to stir every 5 minutes during the last 15 or so minutes to keep it from scorching. This is also a quick jump-start when making roux.