Josh wanted to know what exactly makes this dish a "skillet" penne. It's a pretty cool dish, actually, because everything happens in one skillet, including the pasta. I didn't have much hope for this dish because it calls for sun-dried tomatoes in oil. I don't always like those, but I went for it anyway, thinking we could order pizza if it was awful. But it was so good that it elicited another "restaurant quality" from Josh. It also elicited the dreaded question "This is totally healthy, right?" This is where one can play with language: "Why, yes, our servings were indeed healthy." Notice I did not say "healthful" because that would have been a fib. But "healthy" can speak to serving size, can't it. I did confess, in the end, that it's not so healthful.
Ingredients: 8oz. penne pasta (2.5 cups), 1/2 cup cream, 2.5 cups chicken broth, 1 lb. sausage (I like Italian chicken sausage), 6 oz. spinach (you can wilt fresh in the pan or use frozen added at the end), 1 minced med. onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (oil pressed out and chopped), 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.
Procedure: Saute the onion until translucent, then add garlic and stir in for 30 seconds. Add the sausage and brown. Scatter the tomatoes, penne, and stir. Pour in the liquids and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to med-low and cover until the pasta is done. The instructions said 10 minutes, but pasta cooked in this manner seems to take longer than the package instructions say. I think mine took 15 minutes to reach al dente. If you are using fresh spinach, throw it in when the pasta has a couple more minutes. If using frozen, thaw and squeeze excess water out, then scatter over in the last minute of cooking, just to heat through. Remove from heat and sprinkle Parmesan all over.
We drank a Malbec with ours - nice.