A physical therapy student at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, Theresa Najjar was at home in Chelsea on a school break when her mother told her about the Globe Magazine's recipe contest. Of her entry, she says: "It's really filling and tasty. And you always have leftovers."
ITALIAN SAUSAGE, SPINACH, AND PASTA
2 pounds spicy Italian sausage, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
5 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound thin spaghetti, broken into thirds
2 bags (10 ounces each) spinach, stems removed
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the sausage. Once the sausage has begun to release oil, after about 2 minutes, add the onion and cook, stirring, until the sausage is cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Spoon or drain off fat, then add 5 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil (use more if needed). Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the spinach and cover to wilt, about 3 minutes (do this in batches if the pot is too small). Stir in the half-and-half and Parmesan cheese, then continue to stir until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
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