(Recipe can be found on Giada de Laurentiis’ site here.)
Step by Step Instructions:
This fabulous Baked Potato with Sausage and Spinach Sauce needs the following ingredients: Salt & Pepper, Parmesan Cheese, your favorite Marinara sauce (it just seemed appropriate to use one of Giada’s sauces), 1 small Onion, 2-4 Potatoes (this really depends on how many mouths you are feeding but the leftovers do heat up well), 3 cups of fresh Arugula or Spinach (I went with Spinach because I like it better and it’s easier to find), 8 ounces of either hot or sweet Italian style turkey sausage, 4 ounces of Mascarpone cheese, and Olive Oil.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350. Then wash and dry your potatoes. Place them on a individual foil squares.
Wrap each potato tightly in the foil. Then bake for about an hour until a knife goes into them easily (aka – nice and tender). My oven is apparently unable to heat at the proper temperature so I finished mine in the microwave. You could cook them in the microwave too if you’re short on time.
While the potatoes baked in the oven, I began doing my prep work with about 20 minutes to go on the timer. Here’s an awesome tip for cutting your onions. Use a paper towel to cut your onions on. I found that when I was dicing my onion on a cutting board there was a lot of moisture and they were kind of sliding on the board…not safe at all! So with this great paper towel method, they don’t move on me and it makes cutting the onions super easy! (Just had to share!)
Here they are all nicely diced.
Isn’t this the prettiest sight? I finely grated about 1/2 cup (what’s a little extra?) of Parmesan cheese…sigh. Okay, sorry I’m back now. Let’s carry on!
Now in a pan that is on medium-high heat (I do about a level 6 on my stove), heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Then add the onions, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper to the oil.
After about 3-5 minutes once the onions are tender, add 2 cloves of minced garlic. Stir it in and cook for about 30 seconds or so. Once you start to smell the garlic, you are good to move on.
I used 2 sausages that I removed the casing from. Then using my hands I tore the sausage into small pieces.
You want to cook the mixture for about 6-8 minutes until the sausage is cooked through.
Now add 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce of your choice, and 3 cups of fresh spinach leaves.
Then stir and stir until the sauce is bubbling and the spinach has wilted as you see above.
Now you know it’s a Giada recipe because we’re using 4 ounces of Mascarpone cheese. Spoon it into the sauce and stir until it’s mixed thoroughly…
…and it will look like the above. Just wait, it gets even better.
…see I told you. Now you add that grated Parmesan cheese. Yum!! Stir it in and you’re ready to go.
Grab one of your baked potatoes and cut a slit or two in the top and you’ll give it a bit of a squeeze to open up the potato a bit.
Now spoon the sauce over the top. Oh yeah! This was so crazy yummy. I added some dried parsley on the top but add some fresh chopped parsley if you have any (I forgot to buy some at the store but the dried variety worked well). And eat away. I really loved this dish, and was pretty thrilled I had leftovers…So excited! I can’t wait for you to give this dish a try!
4 (8 to 10-ounce) baked russet potatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces sweet or spicy Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
1 ½ cups tomato-basil or marinara sauce
3 cups baby arugula or spinach leaves
½ cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Wrap each potato in foil and bake for 1 hour until tender when pierced with a knife. (Alternatively, to cook the potatoes in a microwave: Place 2 potatoes at a time on a dinner plate. Microwave on high for 8 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes until soft. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.)
3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the sausage and using a wooden spoon, break up the meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Cook until brown and cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Add the marinara sauce and arugula. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the arugula has wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone until the mixture forms a creamy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Cut a slit in the top of each baked potato and gently squeeze the ends to form an opening in the top. Spoon the sausage sauce into each potato. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.