A quick, hot, pasta dinner. The spinach/tomatoes make a grand combination. The sausage in this makes it a little on the greasy side, but it's not overpowering-- drain some if you wish before you add in the veggies. I like this spiced up with ample ground black pepper. Coat with cheese if you can handle dairy, but I leave it off and the dish doesn't lack too much.
-large saucepan or wok
Quick and simple
5 oz of uncooked Tinkyada brown rice Penne pasta (little less than half of a bag)
6 cloves garlic
3 cups fresh spinach
10 cherry tomatoes
5 Hillshire Farms Beef Smoked Sausage hotdogs (or half of the large Hillshire Farms sausage link)
[1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese-- optional]
Enough ground black pepper
1. Place pasta into the medium pot. Fill pot with water such that it covers the pasta by about an inch. Bring pasta to a rolling boil over high heat, then turn down to medium-high heat; boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When pasta is al dente (barely tender, not yet soggy), rinse and drain cooked pasta with cold water. Set aside.
2. While has begun cooking, prepare veggies: Wash and peel garlic. Dice into small pieces. Rinse off spinach leaves, removing long stems. Half cherry tomatoes down the center.
3. Now cut the sausage hot dogs into half inch slices (if using the larger sausage link, half each slice). Place cut sausage into the large wok or saucepan. Begin cooking over medium-high heat. 4. Cook sausage for 2 minutes, then add in diced garlic. Cook garlic and sausage for an additional 1 to 2 minutes-- you want the sausage the brown a little. Drain excess grease at this point, if you desire, leaving around 2 tbsp still in the pan.
5. Turn the heat down to medium. Throw in the spinach. Cook for 2 more minutes, stirring and tossing frequently. The spinach will quickly wilt and 'shrink' in size (it looks like alot at first).
6. Now add in the cut cherry tomatoes. Cook for another 1 minute, then throw in the prepared cooked penne pasta. Heat tomatoes and pasta for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the tomatoes begin to break down. DON'T overcook the tomatoes.. you want them whole, but tender, with their skins about to come off. The pasta will be warm enough.
7. When the tomatoes and pasta are soft, but not yet soggy, remove dish from heat. [Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.] Serve warm.