October 31, 2017

RECIPE: Emergency Room Pasta

I know I promised not to post stories along with recipes, because nobody looks at recipe posts for the stories. So I will keep this very short--I just want to explain the name "Emergency Room Pasta". (Which will also explain why the pasta looks so overcooked in the photo, hahaha). But to skip directly to the recipe, just click here.

red pepper spinach pasta

In December 2015, I was cooking a modification of this recipe for "Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Alfredo" when Jerry suddenly was hit with the worst headache he's ever had. (The story with all the details can be found here on my blog). I threw the pot of pasta (it was a one-pot dish, thankfully) into the fridge to possibly salvage later, and drove Jerry to the ER.

The next day, I decided to finish cooking the pasta dish so we could eat it for dinner. I had it cooking on the stove when Jerry was hit with more symptoms. I stopped everything and took him to the ER right away. I remembered that I had left the dinner on the stove, so I called my mom and asked her to put it in the fridge.

Third time's a charm: After the pasta dish was interrupted for TWO emergency room visits, I was finally able to finish cooking it. And it was delicious! Even though the situation wasn't exactly a fun experience, we do feel nostalgic about this dish. It will always be known as "Emergency Room Pasta" to us :)

(You can see my notes about the recipe at the bottom of this post)

Click here for a printer-friendly PDF of the recipe

Emergency Room Pasta


1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 links of Italian sausage (I prefer the hot over the sweet kind)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-3/4 cups milk (I use whole milk)
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
1 jar (about 16 oz) roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
A couple of handfuls of fresh spinach
12 oz. pasta
salt and pepper to taste


In a blender or food processor, purée the milk, chicken broth, and red peppers until smooth. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Remove the casings from the sausage (I just squeeze the sausage out of each end). Add the sausage to the skillet and cook over medium heat until browned, adding the garlic about halfway through. 

Stir in the pepper/milk/broth purée, as well as the pasta. Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer until pasta is done (check the package directions for the approximate time it needs to cook).

Stir in the spinach until it’s wilted; and then stir in the parmesan cheese until it’s melted. Serve hot. 

red pepper spinach pasta

My notes:

*You can use frozen spinach in this. I never have fresh spinach around, but I always have a block of frozen spinach in the freezer. I just microwave it until it's thawed, then I put it in a clean kitchen towel. I use the towel to squeeze the water out of the spinach (almost like you're wringing out the towel). I remove as much water as possible before adding the spinach to the pot. I usually use about half of the block.

*The original recipe called for goat cheese, but I am not a fan of it. I had planned to add cream cheese instead, but with the emergency room visits, I just forgot to add it. We thought it was delicious without the addition of the extra cheese, so we just make it without now.

*This (obviously) can be made ahead of time and reheated. Twice. Hahaha!


  1. This looks delicious! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing, I am loving your recipes.

  2. Yum!!

    This looks amazing!

    Can this be made with turkey sausage?

    I'm glad to know it reheats well!! Hubby and I are trying to use up all our leftovers and some things are best fresh *(pizza)*

  3. Yummmm! I love your recipes. I'm drooling

  4. I made this tonight ahead of time for tomorrow's dinner. I used up all of my spinach in a lentil soup, so I used peas instead. I didn't have canned red peppers, so I used fresh. I probably should have reduced the amount of milk and broth because it is a little liquidy. The flavor is excellent! Thanks for another great recipe!


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