Easy Spinach and Ricotta Pasta with Peppers
Pasta Pasta! I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t love pasta. And I’ve looked. I’ve polled random people and nary a negative response. When Patty and I went to Italy, we experienced pasta in many forms, with such an awesome variety of sauces and accompaniments that we’re still to this day talking about going back. When are we going back to Italy? Tomorrow! I do wish. I would go back to Tuscany in a heartbeat. Or Rome. Or Venice. ANYWHERE in Italy! If you’ve ever been to Italy, drop me a line with your experience. You have an open ear. I digress.
Back to pasta. So! I’m always on the lookout for super quick sauce recipes. As I’ve mentioned (complained) before, Patty and I both work full time with our web business, and I am a writer – not to mention our outstanding Chili Pepper Madness site! – but when it comes to lunches or dinners, sometimes we need food in a hurry. Yes, we can easily run down the street for a sammich or a couple tacos, but I like to cook! And food is always better at home. I enjoy making elaborate sauces for pasta, but when time is a factor, you can’t go wrong with this super-easy-quick-simple pasta sauce. The ingredients alone are easy. The longest thing to cook is the sausage, and that is cooked by the time your pasta is done boiling. Toss in some spinach, swirl in ricotta and Parmesan cheese with a bit of the pasta water and boom! Done! Fast! Delicious! Easy! I love those words.
Don’t forget the peppers. Because we’re Chili Pepper Madness. I need to write a screenplay about peppers. Think it could sell?
- 2 cups rotini noodles
- 8 ounces spicy Italian sausage
- 1 medium red bell pepper chopped (I cut some in long strips because that's how I roll!)
- 2 serrano peppers chopped
- 6 ounces spinach chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a pan to medium heat and add Italian sausage. Cook about 5 minutes, breaking it up as you cook.
Add peppers and cook about 5 minutes to soften.
Add garlic and spinach and stir. Cook about 1 minute.
While sausage is cooking, get your salted water boiling and prepare your noodles to your preference. Drain and reserve about a cup of the pasta water.
Add noodles back to the pot and stir in ricotta cheese and half of the Parmesan. Stir. Add in the pasta water a bit at a time and stir until it becomes creamy to your preference. You probably won’t use the whole reserved cup.
Add the noodles to the sausage-pepper mixture and stir.
Add cracked black pepper and salt to taste.
Sprinkle on some chopped parsley and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.