Bow-Ties with Sausage, Spinach and White Beans

When January rolls around, most families are looking for healthful, yet hearty winter fare. This recipe for Bow-Ties with Sausage, Spinach and White Beans fills the bill, without filling you up with the high fat content of cream-based pasta sauces.

The recipe is full of vegetables, but you don’t have to spend a lot of time at the chopping board. Pre-shredded carrots can be found in most supermarket produce sections, and frozen chopped onions can stand in for fresh. Buying pre-washed spinach in bags with the prepared salad blends saves time at the sink. The pasta is a great one-dish meal, and can be accompanied with crusty French rolls and a glass of hearty red wine. 

  • 8 ounces bow-tie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot (about 1 large carrot)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 8 ounces Italian sausage, hot or sweet, or turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 14.5-ounce can Great Northern or Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 ounces bagged fresh baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to desired doneness, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion and celery and saute until vegetables are soft. Add sausage, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Cook until sausage is no longer pink. Drain and discard fat from the skillet. Return vegetable and sausage mixture to the skillet and increase heat to high. 

Pour in red wine, and stir with a wooden spoon, loosening up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add undrained tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Reduce heat to medium, and stir in beans, spinach, salt and pepper. Cover, and cook until spinach is wilted and beans are heated through. Toss with cooked pasta and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.