Monday, September 17, 2012

Creamy Lumaconi with Italian Sausage and Spinach

Creamy Lumaconi with Italian Sausage and Spinach

Serves 2.

Satisfyingly rich cream sauce with the healthy crunch of fresh spinach.  Very good!
Slightly adapted from: Bev Cooks

1 head garlic, end sliced off
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups lumaconi (or any small pasta)
2 Italian sausage links, casings removed
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. flour
1 cup milk
1 thyme sprig, leaves removed
1 oregano sprig, leaves removed
2 cups chopped spinach
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Place the garlic head in a small piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with oil, seal and roast for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.  When cool, squeeze whole garlic cloves out of shell.

Heat a medium sauce pot over medium high. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon, cooking until browned all over, 6 minutes.  Remove sausage, leaving the grease (about 1 tablespoon).  Add butter, and melt.  When the foaming subsides, add the flour. Whisk constantly for 1 minute, and then slowly add the milk, continuing to whisk another 5 minutes or so until the sauce gets thick and creamy. Add in the herbs, a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk a little more. Transfer a small amount (about 1/3 cup) of cream sauce to a small food processor, add the roasted garlic cloves and pulse until very smooth. Return to the sauce pot, mix to combine, and keep warm.

In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and boil until al dente. Just taste it to test it. Drain and return to the pot.

Pour the cream sauce over the pasta, along with the spinach and sausage. Toss to coat and combine everything.

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