This recipe is from the October 2004 issue of Bon Appétit but I've modified it a bit here to make it easier and better suit my family's tastes. It is really easy because it uses mostly canned food items and is incredibly tasty. This dish could easily be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage and adding some mushrooms. I prefer to make it with fresh pasta instead of dried in which case you simmer for about 28 minutes then add the spinach and about a minute or two later add the pasta. I wasn't sure there was still enough liquid for the pasta to cook properly but I just covered the pan and it turned out great.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1⁄4 lbs Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
- 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, in juice with Italian spices
- 2 (14 ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
- 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini, drained and rinsed (white kidney beans)
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped fresh basil, divided
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dry crushed red pepper
- 1 cup shell pasta or 1 cup orecchiette or 1 1⁄2 cups fresh gemelli pasta
- 1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves
- 1⁄3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese or 1⁄3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- additional grated pecorino romano cheese
- Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and garlic powder and sauté 6-10 minutes.
- Add sausage and sauté until brown, breaking up large chunks with back of fork, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes with juice, broth, beans, 1 cup basil, oregano, and dried crushed red pepper.
- Simmer/boil 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.
- Add dried pasta and cook until tender but still firm to bite, about 15 more minutes.
- Add spinach and cook just until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
- Mix in 1/3 cup cheese and remaining 1/2 cup basil.
- Season ragout with salt and pepper; ladle into bowls. Serve, passing additional cheese separately.