We are constantly trying out new recipes here at Casa Elise, and even jokingly refer to our kitchen as the "test kitchen". However, many recipes never make it to this site because often they just aren't good enough. In fact, some are downright awful.
When we do find a good one, we declare it a "winner" and often make it again so I can get a good photo. This is one of those recipes. Not a big one for casseroles, I was surprised at how tasty this Potato, Spinach, and Sausage Casserole was.
It comes from the charter issue of a magazine put out by the folks at Cook's Illustrated, called Cook's Country, a magazine devoted to home cooking. Our changes were to make the casserole for four people instead of eight and to use both sweet and hot Italian sausage instead of the kind of sausage you slice.
If you ever have a hard time convincing a family member to eat their spinach, this would be the recipe to use!
Potato Spinach Sausage Casserole
- 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 medium sized potatoes), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz fresh spinach, washed, dried, and stemmed
- 1/2 lb of Italian sausage (we like 1/2 sweet and 1/2 hot Italian sausage), out of casing, broken into small pieces
- 1 large red onion (about 3/4 lb), peeled and sliced thin
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking dish
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- Dash of nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup of shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 6x9 or 8x8 inch baking dish
Boil potatoes until tender
Place potato chunks in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the potatoes to boil over high heat, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Cook the spinach
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the spinach and cook, using tongs to turn the spinach leaves over in the pan, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool. Wrap in paper towels and squeeze out liquid. Roughly chop the spinach.
Cook the Italian sausage
Wipe any remaining moisture out of the skillet. Add the Italian sausage to the pan and cook on medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a bowl.
Cook the red onions and garlic
You'll need 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan. So if the sausage has produced that much fat, great, if not, add more olive oil until you have 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan. Heat on medium high and add the thinly sliced red onions. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add the onions and garlic to the bowl with the sausage.
Mash the potatoes with butter, cream, vinegar, seasonings
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them and return them to the pot, and mash them with butter, cream, vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Stir in the spinach and 1/2 cup of the cheese
Transfer potato-spinach mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with sausage-onion mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake until potatoes are very hot and cheese is golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.