Orecchiette with Sausage, Spinach and Mascarpone

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Happy Spring! This is an all time favorite pasta dish that I make 2-3 times a month. I recently substituted whole wheat pasta and it was delish! Feel free to make substitutions or change as needed. You could use broccoli rabe or add white beans. Go wild…

Ingredients:

1 pound orechiette pasta (save 2 cups of pasta cooking water for sauce)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2-1 pound turkey sausage, casing removed (At Whole Foods I buy 4 turkey sausages – 3 mild and 1 spicy)

4 cups of spinach

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1-2 cups of the cooking liquid.

In a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage. Using a wooden spoon break up the sausage into bite-sized pieces as it browns.

Continue cooking until the sausage is golden brown and cooked through. Add the spinach and let it cook down for a few minutes. Add 1-2 cups of the pasta cooking liquid and stir, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until it dissolves into a light sauce. Add the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and hot pasta. Stir until the pasta is coated and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

source: Food Network

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