Sausage with Penne and Spinach

For an easy gluten free weeknight meal, look no further than this delicious skillet dinner.  Thanks to my sister for turning me on to the sausage and spinach combo, she made this meal for me shortly after my Celiac diagnosis!  Today I always like to have a variety of sausage on hand in my freezer pantry.  It’s delicious and the bold seasonings are enough to flavor an entire dish.  So, grab a pack, along with some gluten free penne and fresh baby spinach and let’s prepare a quick, satisfying weeknight dinner.

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3-4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. gluten free Italian sausage sliced into coins
  • 2 oz. diced pancetta
  • 1/2 lb. gluten free penne
  • 1/2 bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 sweet onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (not cooking wine)
  • 1 ladle of pasta water
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated cheese for finishing (Parmesan or Romano)
  • Italian parsley for garnish optional

Preparation:

Cook the penne for 5 minutes less than the package directions, drain and set aside, reserving 1 ladle of the pasta water.  I find that most gluten free pasta is done to al dente long before the package instructions.  So, to be on the safe side I always under cook it, then finish it in the skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium low and begin browning the sausage and pancetta in a little olive oil.

When nicely browned on both sides add the onion and garlic.  Continue cooking and stir frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn.

Next add the drained penne, all of the spinach, white wine and a ladle of the pasta water.

Cover and cook 1-2 minutes longer, or just until the spinach is wilted.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil, toss and finish with grated cheese and chopped parsley.

Dinner is on the table in under a half hour.  Perfect for those busy weeknights!

Notes ♪♫ Today there are so many types of gluten free sausage available.  Just in the 6 years since my Celiac diagnosis, the availability of delicious gluten free sausage has expanded so much.  So don’t hesitate to take advantage of easy meals like this one.  And if you’re worried about sodium or other ingredients, learn to make your own.  Check out my Gluten Free Italian Sausage Patties, and my Gluten Free Breakfast Sausage Patties.  Both are easy to make, and you control what goes into them!

 

Originally published 6/3/2018             Revised 1/17/2024

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Spinach and Ricotta Beef Rolls

I’m a little obsessed with bundled meat recipes!  I love making Bracciole, a family favorite that takes me back to my mother’s kitchen.  A few weeks ago I made these Italian Skirt Steak Rolls and wow, they were a hit!  For today’s entrée, thin slices of beef are rolled and stuffed with a spinach ricotta filling.  The rolls are then wrapped in prosciutto and baked.  The meat was so tender, this meal would be a wonderful choice for date night or a small dinner party.

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz. bag baby spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 lb. prosciutto, thin sliced
  • 1 lb. top round cut into 1/4″ thin slices.
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Preparation:

Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet with a lid.  Cut the garlic clove in half and add to the oil, cut side down.  Cook for 2 minutes over low heat to infuse the oil with garlic flavor.

Add all of the spinach to the skillet.  It looks like a lot but it will cook down.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes total, stirring after 5 minutes.

What did I tell you? 😉

Cool the spinach slightly then stir it into the ricotta (discard the garlic).  Season with fresh ground pepper.

Cover your work surface with wax paper or plastic wrap.  Lay out the beef slices and spread the spinach ricotta mixture over each one.

Starting at the short end, roll the slices up into a bundle.

Next wrap up each meat bundle in 1-2 slices of prosciutto.

Place the bundles in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Preheat the oven to 400º.

Bake the meat rolls for 30 minutes, or to when the internal temperature reaches 145º for medium.  Check the internal temperature with a thermometer.

Brush the tops with honey during the last 5 minutes of baking.  Cover and cool slightly before slicing.

Of course, you can just dig right in 🙂

But if you can wait for the bundles to set for 10 minutes you will really see the beautiful spirals of meat when you slice it.  Leftovers were even better the next day!

Notes ♪♫  I hope you loved this recipe as much as we did!  Check out some of my other bundled meat recipes, not only for beef, but chicken and fish too!  Bracciole, Italian Skirt Steak Rolls, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Crab Stuffed Sole.

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Bay Scallops with Baby Spinach and Grape Tomatoes

Would you believe this beautiful seafood pasta dish can be on the table in just a half hour?  Simple ingredients and minimal prep make this meal perfect for week nights, date night or any special occasion.  The ingredients are naturally gluten free, except for the pasta.  So just one swap makes this meal celiac safe!

Bay scallops are delicate and sweet.  Smaller in size than sea scallops, they are harvested in the US from bays along the East Coast.  Available fresh when in season, you can also find them in the freezer section.

Dinner for two

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. bay scallops, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 oz. bag baby spinach
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 6 oz. gluten free spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • gluten free Italian seasoning to taste

Preparation:

If your scallops are frozen, take them out to defrost and lay them on paper towels to absorb excess liquid.  If fresh, just pat them dry before cooking.

Cut the grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Spread them evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with seasoning.

Roast for 15 minutes at 400º, stirring halfway through.  Set aside while you finish the dish.

Cook the spaghetti to 1 minute less than package directions.  While the pasta cooks, add 1 tbsp. each of butter and olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium low heat.  Add the scallops, allowing plenty of space in between (cook in 2 batches if needed).

Cook 5 minutes per side, turning once.  Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.  Leave those browned bits in the pan, they will flavor the rest of the dish!

To the same skillet, add a bit more olive oil with the garlic and shallots.

Stir and cook 1 minute, then add back the roasted tomatoes.

Cook for 1 minute more, then add all of the baby spinach with 1/2 cup of white wine.  Don’t worry, it will cook down!  Cover the pan and cook for several minutes, until the spinach wilts.

What did I tell you?

Use tongs to add the cooked spaghetti to the spinach mixture, along with the scallops.  Season to taste, and finish with another 1 tbsp. each of butter and olive oil.

Toss gently to combine and heat the scallops through, then transfer to a serving platter.

Notes ♪♫  Serving the scallops with pasta makes this a very fast and easy dish to prepare.  But if you are not in a hurry, try serving it over risotto.  You can find my Basic Risotto recipe here.

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