Creamy Penne With Seared Chicken Sausage: easy weeknight pasta dish full of mushrooms, spinach, onions and a savory creamy chicken sauce using ricotta!
45 Minutes or Less,  Chicken,  Dinner,  Food,  Pasta

Creamy Penne With Spinach, Mushrooms, And Seared Chicken Sausage

I like to make a game out of leftover or partially used ingredients in my fridge and pantry.

Like, how can half a lemon, six ounces of chicken stock, and sour cream be repurposed into some sort of delectable savory sauce to brush over a lightly salted grilled chicken breast? Hmmm…

Or, maybe a handful of berries, a bruised pear, and a mostly used carton of half-n-half can be whipped into one of the best cobblers on the planet.

Not only is that “game” fun, it’s also practical. Like the companion piece to eating dinner leftovers at work the next day.

This week I stared into the refrigerator, puzzled about what to make for dinner. Mushrooms, fresh spinach, onions, chicken sausage…ricotta?

Creamy Penne With Seared Chicken Sausage: easy weeknight pasta dish full of mushrooms, spinach, onions and a savory creamy chicken sauce using ricotta!

Ricotta: the cheese that’s relegated to lasagnas and stuffed shells.

Despite what you think’s a meager, one trick pony ingredient in the kitchen, ricotta is actually quite versatile! Aside from the obvious Italian recipe uses, fans of the creamy lower fat cheese also find it’s brilliant in things like cheesecake and pancakes.

Creamy Penne With Seared Chicken Sausage: easy weeknight pasta dish full of mushrooms, spinach, onions and a savory creamy chicken sauce using ricotta!

Or pasta sauce.

Creamy Penne With Seared Chicken Sausage

Creamy Penne With Seared Chicken Sausage

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

An easy weeknight pasta dish full of mushrooms, spinach, onions and a savory creamy chicken sauce, using ricotta!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried penne
  • 1 package savory fully cooked chicken sausage (your favorite flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  • Place a large pot of water, plus the 2 tablespoons of salt, on the stove to boil. Cook the penne for 9 minutes, reserve a cup of pasta water, then drain.
  • Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large skillet, and warm it over medium heat for a few minutes. Add the sausages, browning each side for 2 minutes until they're seared all over. Remove the sausages to a paper towel-covered plate to rest.
  • Saute the mushrooms in the skillet for a few minutes, until they've started to brown. Add the onions, and continue to cook them until they're almost translucent, then toss in the spinach. Once the spinach has wilted, add the garlic, sprinkle everything with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper, then continue sauteeing for 1 minute more.
  • Add the chicken stock to the skillet and bring it to a boil. Whisk in the ricotta*, then reduce the heat to keep it at a simmer. Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water (the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce).
  • Slice the sausage and toss it with the skillet mixture and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve with warm crusty bread.
  • Notes

    *The ricotta has a tendency to break in the sauce and look curdled. This doesn't affect the flavor, but it can look odd to some people. If the look of a broken sauce bothers you, wait until the last minute to stir it in — right before serving.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

    Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) Always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect mojito and time to finish my novel!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Skip to Recipe