Sausage Spinach Penne - One Pot Wonder!
I am a sucker for one pot wonders. Raising our own farm fresh hogs also means we're never short on ground pork, so this has become a go-to, regular dinner at our house.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground pork or Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- ½ to 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ to 1 teaspoon basil
- Pinch of crushed red peppers
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock (I like the full flavor of stock, but you can 6 cups of broth as well and skip the water)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine (I like to put them in a bowl of water, microwave for about 30-second, then rinse, drain and chop)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 box penne pasta (rotini or shells work well too)
- 1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat and add in the sausage. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink, breaking it up as you go. Now this is the part where my husband freaks and claims “You’re draining away all the flavor”…but I like to drain the fat off, and sometimes give it a little rinse, before adding my spices. His heart will thank me later. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add your spices.
Stir in the stock, water (or broth), sun-dried tomatoes, then add the pasta and stir. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a strong simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened, about 10-15 minutes (if the pasta looks undercooked, add small amounts of water until the pasta is cooked thoroughly).
Take it off the heat and stir in the cheese, then add spinach, a handful at time, and stir until wilted. Add a nice loaf of bread (Vinman's rustic sourdough my Ellensburg friends?) and enjoy!
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
These are great little moist cupcakes and the hint of maple in the frosting is just right.
Cupcakes (makes 12):
1 c flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 c unsalted butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c pure pumpkin puree
2 tsp vanilla
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tb butter, softened
2 Tb pure maple syrup
2 c powdered sugar
Toasted pecans , walnuts or raisins for topping (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar for about 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract, mixing until blended. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined.
Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting, add the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and salt to a large bowl and beat until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar until thoroughly combined.
Once completely cooled, frost, top and enjoy!
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
I love this recipe because you can easily throw together the morning of, or make it up the day before.
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 ½ - 4 ½ cups of 1-inch bread cubes
½ cup pumpkin puree
3 - 4 Tbsp brown sugar
Using a large, artisan bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes. Fill a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish good and full. In a large bowl, together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin butter and pie spice until well combined. Pour over the bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whip cream or caramel sauce. The fall breakfast of champions!