This is a pretty basic recipe that can be manipulated to keep with the seasons, swapping out squash for another quick-cooking vegetable and using other greens like chard or broccoli rabe as alternatives to spinach.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 links Italian sausage (a little more than ½ pound)
- 2 ½ cups yellow squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 large)
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of dried red chili flakes
- 1 (28-oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups fusilli or ziti
- 2 ½ cups baby spinach
- Grated Parmesan, for garnish
- Fresh mint, roughly chopped, for garnish
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook until it just starts to brown, about 2 minutes, then add the squash and finishing cooking until the sausage is no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, making sure that only 1 ½ tablespoons of liquid is in the pan (adding more oil if necessary or draining out the excess fat), lower the heat to medium and add the shallot, a pinch of salt, and the chili flakes and cook until the shallots soften, about 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the broth, gently breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, and season with salt and pepper. And the pasta and adjust the heat to maintain strong, active bubbles and cook until the pasta is just tender, 7-9 minutes. Add the sausage, squash and stir in the spinach and cook until the pasta is al dente, another 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place in serving bowls and top with parmesan and the fresh mint.