1 package (5 links) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 (8-ounce) package white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (8-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes, preferably in oil, roughly chopped
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for passing around
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A good handful of fresh basil, chopped
1/2 package baby spinach, or as much as you like
1 pound penne rigate
1 cup reserved pasta water
A good handful of fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
In a large, deep saute pan, cook the sausage, breaking apart as you go. Drain and set aside.
Saute garlic, shallot and mushrooms in the same pan in oil (a few turns of oil around the pan) 2 to 3 minutes, adding red pepper flakes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and beans. Add the sausage and the remaining olive oil, adding the shredded cheese as you go.
Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Add the chopped basil and spinach to wilt.
Cook the pasta as directions suggest. Remember to reserve some of the pasta water.
Add drained pasta to the pan of sauce and fold gently to combine, adding pasta water to loosen as necessary.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. Pass extra cheese around, use lots of freshly ground black pepper.