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FREE: My Favorite Pasta

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The other day I mentioned how much I love cereal. Today I'm going to tell you how much I love pasta! Exciting, eh?

But, oh! Pasta! It really is one of those foods that I could eat everyday. While I like all types of pasta dishes, there is one recipe I make again and again and again: Garlic Pasta.

I first made this pasta years ago when I got back from a garlic festival. I spent all day sniffing yummy foods, none of which were safe to eat! When I got home, I was desperate for something  garlicky. I boiled pasta, browned some garlic and added spinach. It was a delight! The next time I made it, I added tomatoes. Then I added mozzarella. I just kept tweaking this pasta until I had something I loved! At one point, I was making it once a week. (My poor family!) Now this is my go-to pasta dish. I just love it!

Elizabeth's Garlic Pasta

1 pound gluten-free penne pasta* (I used Tinkyada)

1/3 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound Chourico sausage, cut into bite-size pieces

8 ounces mozzarella, grated

1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

1 15.5-ounce can great northern or cannellini beans, rinsed

1 7 ounce bag baby spinach, cooked

1 pint grape tomatoes, slices in half

Dried or fresh basil. (For dried basil, I use about 1 teaspoon. I say "about" because I don't measure it. I just add it to taste.)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

  1. Cook pasta until tender in a large pot of boiling water.(For tips on how to cook gluten-free pasta, click here.)
  2. While the pasta is boiling, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chourico and cook until golden brown
  4. Using a ladle, remove the cooked sausage from the pan. Set aside. 
  5. Heat remaining olive oil and garlic over medium heat in the skillet. Garlic should turn a light golden brown. You don't want the garlic too dark. If the garlic oil is ready before the pasta, just remove it from the heat.
  6. Reserve about one cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and return to cooking pot. 
  7. Pour olive oil and garlic over pasta. Toss to coat. 
  8. Add cheese. Stir to combine. When mozzarella is melted (this does not take long. A few stirs with a wooden spoon and it will melt), add spinach, tomatoes, beans and basil.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If pasta sauce is too thick, add a splash of the cooking water to thin.

Serves Four

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