Photo of Pasta with sausage, spinach, and pine nuts by WW

Pasta with sausage, spinach, and pine nuts

Total Time
20 min
5 min
15 min
Turkey sausage, which is browned along with buttery pine nuts, garlic, and spicy red pepper flakes, is always a nice complement for long noodles. The spinach wilts down to a tender consistency and adds color and freshness to this otherwise hearty dish. Since there's not much liquid or other fat in this recipe, reserving some of the pasta’s starchy cooking water is imperative (it's actually a good idea whenever you're putting together any pasta dish). Cooked pasta tends to soak up a lot of whatever is coating it, so the reserved cooking liquid can help emulsify the sauce and keep it glossy without it breaking. It's a pro tip that'll make a difference for every pasta dish you cook from now on.


Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked turkey sausage(s)

½ pound(s), Italian variety, cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick rounds

Pine nuts

2 Tbsp


1 medium clove(s), minced

Crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp

Uncooked pasta

9 oz, fresh fettuccine variety

Fresh spinach

9 oz, baby leaves


  1. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan, over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the pine nuts, garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring frequently until the nuts are lightly browned and the sausage is dark brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the saucepan; add the sausage mixture, spinach, and the reserved water; toss to coat. Yields 1 1/2 cups per serving.