Family Pasta

Serves 4.

Note: From “Keeping It Simple: Easy Weeknight One-Pot Recipes,” by Yasmin Fahr.

• 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided, plus more if needed

• 2 Italian-style sausages, removed from their casing

• 1 shallot, thinly sliced

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried red chile flakes

• 2 (14-oz.) cans chopped tomatoes and their liquid

• 1 c. low-salt chicken stock or broth, or water

• Parmesan rind, optional

• 1 lb. dried fusilli, penne or small tubular-shaped pasta

• 3 c. baby spinach

• 1/2 c. ricotta, drained and lightly salted, for serving

• 1/2 c. fresh basil, chives or mint leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped, for sprinkling

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sausage, using a wooden spoon to break it up into tiny crumb-sized pieces, letting it sit and brown, then stirring every minute, until no pink is visible and it has a nice crusty-brown exterior, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In same frying pan without wiping it out, lower heat to medium, add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil (if more than 2 tablespoons are left in pan, then skip this step) then add the shallot, pinch of salt and chile flakes. Cook until the shallot softens, about 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, stock, Parmesan rind, if using, and a pinch of salt. Raise heat to reach an active boil, then adjust to maintain an active simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.

Raise heat to a vigorous boil, add the pasta and cook, about 2 minutes less than the package directions until pasta is al dente, roughly 7 to 9 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking on the bottom. Reduce heat to low, add the sausage and spinach and cook until sausage is warmed up and spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place in serving bowls, remove Parmesan rind, if using, and top with ricotta, fresh herbs and some pepper.