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Weeknight Wagon Wheel Pasta

This is an awesome quick weeknight meal.


1 small onion, chopped
8 oz Italian sausage
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 tsp flour
20 oz Chicken broth
2 cups water
8 oz Wagon Wheel pasta
5 oz Baby spinach
2 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded fine

Italian seasoning, as desired


  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat (6.5 on our stove)
  • Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes
  • Stir in sausage and cook until broken up and no longer pink, about 4 minutes
  • Stir in garlic, cook 30-60 seconds
  • Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute
  • Stir in broth, water, and pasta. Increase heat to medium- high (7.5).
  • Bring to a vigorous simmer, and stir often until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened, 15-18 minutes.
  • Stir in spinach a handful at a time until wilted.
  • Remove from heat and stir in parmesan.
  • Top with extra parmesan.

Penne alla Vodka

Very yummy!

1, 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained with juice reserved
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1/3 cup Vodka
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1 lb Penne
2 TBSP fresh basil, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated


4 Spicy turkey sausage (removed from casing)


0. If using, brown sausage in frying pan. Drain and set aside.

1. Pulse the tomatoes in food processor until smooth. Combine the tomatoes and reserved juice to make 2 cups.  Discard the remainder.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and tomato paste.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Stir in tomato mixture and 1/2 tsp salt.  Off heat, add vodka.  Return sauce to medium-high heat and simmer, stirring often, until alcohol flavor is cooked off, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in cream and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

4. Meanwhile, cook penne till al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add sauce (and sausage, if using) and cook over medium heat, tossing to combine, until pasta absorbs some sauce, 1-2 minutes. Stir in basil, season with salt and pepper, then add some reserved cooking water as needed to adjust consistency.  Serve with Parmesan.