As a college student I don’t get to cook as often as I would like. However, I am making it a goal this semester to cook at least once a week and try a new dish. I have so many recipes pinned on Pinterest and haven’t even gotten through a quarter of them! Now’s the time to do so!

This week I was trying to think to find a recipe that I could make with everything I already had. I didn’t really feel like going to the store and I always try to use what I already have. My mom had sent smoked sausage back to school with me so I thought this would be a great base ingredient.

I searched my Pinterest board and came across Creamy Spinach and Sausage Pasta. Thankfully, I had almost every ingredient I needed, except the fresh vegetables. The best part of this recipe? It’s all made in one pot which means less cleaning up! It’s also relatively cheap, which is always nice for a broke college student.

I made a few changes to the recipe to experiment and make things easier. I chose to use Egg-Noodles versus regular pasta. It also called for diced tomatoes with chiles — which would add a little heat to it (not a fan of spicy things). To make it a little more my style, I used diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, yum! Anytime you can add garlic, do it!!

So here’s what you’ll need:
1 Hillshire Farm Polska Kielbasa (or any other smoked sausage)
1 yellow onion
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 bag fresh spinach
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 green onion
8 ounce pasta (I used Egg Noodles)

So first things first, grab a large skillet and drizzle it with olive oil. Make sure to get enough to cover the entire bottom of the skillet! Cut up the kielbasa into thin slices, but not too thin! I personally like meat in every bite so I cut the slices in half to make smaller pieces.

Heat the olive oil up and add your cut kielbasa, browning both sides.

Meanwhile, dice your onion add to the skillet once the kielbasa is browned.

You want to let all this keep browning until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes.

Now you may be wondering, when do I cook the pasta? That’s where the one pot meal comes into play — you cook it all in here! So, add your can of diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Stir it all up, then add your pasta right into the skillet! Try to submerge all the pasta, if possible. I, personally, just had to keep stirring it to make sure all the pasta got cooked. Cover the skillet with a lid. Once the mixture reaches a boil, turn the heat down and let all the goodness simmer for about 10 minutes, covered.

Once you’ve let it simmer and the pasta is tender, begin adding your spinach in small portions. If you add the whole bag of spinach at once, it won’t all cook down. So just grab a handful, and begin stirring it into the mixture. You’ll notice the more time it’s in there, the more it cooks down. Make sure the stovetop is still on so your sauce will continue to thicken!

Now it’s everyone’s favorite part — CHEESE! I may have gotten a little carried away and added more than a cup, but it’s totally up to you! Just sprinkle the cheese on top, replace the lid and let it stand (no heat).

Once the cheese has melted, slice the green onions, add to the top and you’re done!

Serve warm, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!

I paired this with my current favorite, Rex Goliath Sangira! It’s a red wine base, which pairs well with the meat. What would YOU pair it with?

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