Lauren Kelp | Creamy PastaHowdy, friends! Laurel here & I know, I know…it may be January, and shiny brand new resolutions may be popping out all over the place, but let me just gently reassure you here. One, it’s not going to be January forever, even if it feels that way, and two, you need this pasta in your life. Gym memberships and kale smoothie cleanses are all wonderful things, but this weekend, you’ve got a date with some good old-fashioned comfort food.

This creamy pasta was the very best thing I ate in the month of December, which is saying something considering that it was a month that also contained at least a dozen new cookie recipes and Christmas dinner itself. But this dish, oh baby, this was the hands-down winner! This delightfully creamy pasta with savory apple, sage & sausage meatballs is rich yet somehow light, brightened by lemon zest and generous handfuls of fresh chives. And while it may not be a virtuous kale smoothie, it’s packed with spinach and fresh herbs and guaranteed to help chase away your dead-of-winter-blahs with some warm, carb-laden comfort: this is the One Winter Pasta To Rule Them All. It’s worth putting on your stretchy pants for, even in the land of New Year’s resolutions.

Lauren Kelp | Creamy PastaINGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt & pepper
1/2 cup peeled & grated apple
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 lb. rigatoni pasta (usually, one box)
3 cups baby spinach leaves

Lauren Kelp | Creamy PastaINSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the sour cream and regular cream together.

2. Add chives, lemon zest and lemon juice, plus salt & pepper to taste, set mixture aside.

3. Squeeze grated apple between your hands to remove as much juice as possible beforehand.

4. Put fresh sage, Italian sausage and chopped shallot in a mixing bowl, add the grated apple, mix with your hands until just barely combined. Roll mixture into about two dozen meatballs the size of large marbles.

5. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add half the meatballs, cook until lightly browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside, do the same for the other half of the batch. Set all cooked meatballs aside.

6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with a handful of salt and add pasta. Cook until tender, then strain and return pasta to pot.

7. Add spinach and toss thoroughly while pasta is still warm, until leaves wilt and become soft.

8. Add cream mixture and meatballs, then serve.

Lauren Kelp | Creamy Pasta

laurel button