When I saw this recipe that included both pasta and potatoes, I found it hard to believe. Could I really have pasta and potatoes in the same dish? Wouldn't that be carb overload?
A few months went by, and I found myself at West Side Market with a handful of fingerling potatoes, fresh wild mushroom pasta, and some Italian chicken sausage in my bag (all for under $5). My first thought for the fingerling potatoes was homefries--but then, thinking about the pasta and potatoes recipe I couldn't quite remember the details of--I thought, "Wild mushroom pasta with potatoes. And sausage. And spinach to balance it out."
I went home and got to work. I boiled the potatoes and the pasta, took the sausage out of the casing and sauteed it with the spinach. The result?
Marc Bittman's recipe for pasta with potatoes is considerably different than this one. Stewed tomatoes may have saved the dish, but it also may have hidden the wild mushroom flavor.
The winner, however, and reason I am blogging about this dish, is the sausage and spinach. Chicken sausage is pretty readily available--there's always plenty at Whole Foods. Simply remove the casing (I know, it's kind of gross) and cook like you would ground beef. Throw the spinach in once the sausage is all the way cooked, only until it wilts.
This sausage and spinach topping would work great for pasta or potatoes, especially if you're in a rush. The flavor of the sausage eliminates the need for any other seasonings or fussing--add a little olive oil and you're done. Also, consider the potatoes, sausage and spinach with eggs, or in a frittata.