• Elinor Shelp-Peck

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Prom Pasta

Updated: Sep 12


Photos by Elinor Shelp-Peck

Growing up, my mom made this Prom Pasta whenever I felt sad or needed to have some at-home comfort food. It is super simple to make and difficult to mess up, which is ideal for beginners. The reason why it is called Prom Pasta is because she made it for my brother on his prom night and that name stuck. This was one of the first dishes I ever made by myself, and it is still my go-to for a date night or a comfy night in. Another plus is that this makes a ton of leftovers and heats up well; however, I recommend having more alfredo sauce on hand for when you reheat it.


Obviously some ingredients are optional — personally I do not like mushrooms, so I don’t use them. However, if mushrooms are your jam, then by all means, add the mushrooms. If you wish to follow simple instructions, scroll down a little further.


The ingredients you will need are fettuccine pasta, one jar of alfredo sauce (I prefer Bertolli), a 16 oz. bag of baby spinach, Polska Kielbasa sausage and one package of baby bella mushrooms.


First, you will want to start your fettuccine. The amount you use is up to you, depending on how many people you plan on feeding. I like to use about ¾ of a standard size box for two people and probably about four more meals worth of leftovers. Put approximately five cups of water into a large pasta pot with a dash of salt and two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Adding the oil helps to keep the noodles separate for when you cook them. Let the water boil, and then pour in your noodles after breaking them in half. I let the noodles simmer on medium for however long the box indicates, because it does vary by brand.



While the water boils and noodles cook, I recommend cutting up the sausage and mushrooms and de-stemming the spinach leaves.


Cut up nearly ¾ of the sausage into quarter-inch rounds and then cut those in half. Immediately put these into a medium-size saucepan on medium heat to cook while you complete the remainder of the prep. Stir the sausage occasionally to limit the possibility of it being burnt on one side. It is important that the sausage is fully cooked.


As for the mushrooms (which I usually choose not to add), make sure to rinse them well prior to slicing. I think the amount of mushrooms you use is up to you. Cut the mushroom stems off and then slice the tops into vertical slivers. Add these to the sausage before the spinach to give them a chance to become tender and more flavorful.


Rinse and remove the stems of about 12 oz. of spinach and break up any leaves that are disproportionately large. Once the sausage is nearly fully cooked, slowly add in the spinach and stir regularly until the spinach cooks down. By the end of the process, your spinach should look limp and kind of sad, but still very green.



Finally, when your pasta has cooked, it is ready for the fancy additions. Leave your burner on low and strain your pasta over a sink, then place it back into your still-warm pasta pot. Add the sausage, mushrooms, and spinach from your saucepan to the strained pasta. Before stirring, pour the entire jar of alfredo sauce into your pot. Now stir the pasta mixture until it is mixed to your satisfaction. Enjoy.


Basic Instructions


Ingredients:

1 box of fettuccine noodles

1 package of Polska Kielbasa sausage

1 16 oz. pack of baby spinach

1 15 oz. jar of alfredo sauce

1 package of baby bella mushrooms


Recipe:


1. Add a dash of salt and two tablespoons of vegetable oil to the five cups of water to a large pasta pot and bring to a boil. Cook approximately ¾ of the fettuccine noodles in the pot after breaking them in half for ease of cooking. Follow boiling instructions on the package of pasta, as it may vary by brand.


2. While those are cooking, slice ¾ of the package of sausage into rounds and then cut those in half. Immediately put these into a medium-size saucepan and cook on medium heat until lightly browned. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent burning.


3. While the sausage is cooking, cut the stems off the mushrooms and spinach. Slice the mushrooms into vertical thin slices. Once the mushrooms are sliced, add them to the cooking sausage and stir occasionally to help the mushrooms evenly cook. Add the spinach to the saucepan when the mushrooms and sausage are nearly done. Stir this mixture occasionally until the spinach is sufficiently cooked down.


4. Strain the cooked pasta and put it back in the large pasta pot, leaving the burner on low. Top with the sausage, mushrooms, and spinach from the saucepan. Wait to stir it until the entire jar of alfredo sauce has been added. Stir until the pasta is thoroughly mixed with the alfredo and saucepan ingredients.


5. It is now ready to be served.


By Elinor Shelp-Peck, Co-Editor in Chief

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