Creamy Lumaconi with Italian Sausage and Spinach:
- 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.
In a small sauce pot, melt the butter. 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 cream sauce to a small food processor, add the roasted garlic cloves and pulse until very smooth. Cover to keep warm.
In the meantime, heat a medium skillet over medium high. Add the sausage and break up with a wooden spoon, cooking until browned all over, 6 minutes.
Also 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. Oh dear.
Serve with good parmesan cheese or basil or neither or both. Most definitely both.
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