the home chef … on everyday meals

By Harlene Deane

Too busy to cook? Wait until you try this recipe. My husband and I tested this last week and can I tell you? It was awesome …

Penne with sausage, mushrooms and spinach

• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 3/4 pound fully cooked pork, chicken or turkey sausages, thickly sliced into rounds.
• 3/4 pound fresh button mushrooms, thickly sliced*
• 3/4 cup chopped shallots
• 5 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper*
• 1 10-ounce package ready-to-use spinach leaves
• 1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
• 3/4 pound penne pasta, freshly cooked
• 2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated provolone or mozzarella cheese. Please, fresh!

Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add sausages, mushrooms, garlic and crushed red pepper.
Saute until mushrooms begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Add spinach and broth; toss until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Add pasta and cheese; toss until cheese melts and sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Season
with salt and pepper. Serves: 4.

Please, how easy is that? Add a nice green salad and some thick sliced whole grain Italian bread. But first, lightly brush bread slices with olive oil and grill (use a grill pan) until crisp. Rub a peeled garlic clove over both sides of slices and serve!

**Chef’s tip: I used Johnsonville Chicken Sausage. Cut red pepper in half if serving children. To make this even healthier, use whole wheat penne. As for the mushrooms, the original recipe calls for wild mushrooms (such as crimini or stemmed shiitake) but not sure they would be kid friendly, but, hey give them a shot. Bon Appetit!

About the chef: After retiring as an international flight attendant for 28 years, Harlene started her personal chef business — the home chef on Fripp Island. Contact her for recipe ideas or questions at harlene@thehomechef.com.

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