Imagine Rapunzel’s beautiful, blonde hair were a pasta. It would be linguine in a creamy, lemony sauce. And when the prince and the witch fight over who gets to climb her hair, it becomes spicy.
Spicy Sausage Lemon Linguine is literally the hottest new pasta in all the land and, once you make it in your Instant Pot, you’re about to lose your culinary minds in the best way possible.
Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Begin with a bunch of some hot, zesty Italian sausage (or sweet if you don’t want spicy. But then this will be Sausage Lemon Linguine instead of SPICY Sausage Lemon Linguine. It’s cool though. I’ll forgive you).
Take a knife to split the casing of each link…
…and peel ’em off! (or as I like to call this process, the “slit ‘n split”).
Add the sausage meat to a bowl and set aside.
Then, take some shallots…
…and dice ’em up.
Then take some lemons (because, lemons are a key ingredient to this sauce).
…and use a microplane or lemon zester…
…to zest a lemon or three (how much zest you want depends on how much you’ll use to top at the end).
After zesting is complete, juice the lemons. Set aside for the time being.
Now go to the Instant Pot, add some olive oil and heat it up.
Add in the shallots…
…and sauté for a few minutes.
Then, add in some butter…
…allow it to melt…
…and add in some sliced baby bella mushrooms.
Sauté them in the pot. They’ll soften, darken, and become a bit syrupy after a few minutes while absorbing all the butter and oil. Once they release moisture, use it to scrape/deglaze the bottom of the pot from any browning.
Next, add in some garlic…
…and sauté for another moment.
Now let’s get meaty. Add the sausage…
…and use a wooden spatula to break it apart…
…so that it becomes crumbled and lightly browned as it sautés.
Time to get this lemon game on! Add the lemon juice…
…and allow the meat and veggies to simmer in it.
Then, add the broth…
…oregano and dried parsley…
…and, of course, some cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes (if you want it to be spicy – which you should!)
Give everything a good stir!
And now let’s add in that linguine! You’ve gotta break it it in half so it fits in the pot (and if you call me a pasta killer, calm yo-self! It’s the only way it’ll fit in the pot and cook properly. I promise it’ll still feel long PLUS it creates more portions!).
Once the linguine’s in the pot…
…DO NOT STIR! Simply smooth it out so it’s mostly submerged in the broth.
Top it off with some baby spinach, but again, DO NOT STIR! Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, it’ll look like this.
Give everything a good stir. You’ll see some liquid still in the pot. This is good and what we want because it’s about to thicken into an amazing sauce.
Add in some grated Parmesan…
Then, add in some cream…
…and stir. (If you want it super lemony, you can add in lemon zest and even the juice of another lemon now.)
Allow the pasta to rest for a few short minutes so that the sauce all comes together perfectly.
Now you’re ready to serve! Take some pasta…
…transfer to a bowl (using tongs well help a longer pasta like linguine to do that fancy “plate & twirl” thing).
And then sprinkle on some lemon zest…
…and more Parmesan!
Twirl that work of edible art on a fork…
…(note how long the linguine is long even though it was broken in half)…
…daintily place in your mouth (🙄)…
…and you’re going to act as if someone is playing a trick on you since this was astoundingly made in one pot so ridiculously deliciously and easily.
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST PASTAS EVER!
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 16 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoon (6 cloves) garlic, crushed or minced
- 1-2 pounds hot Italian sausage (Use 1 pound for decently meaty and 2 pounds for super meaty. Personally, I use 1 1/2 pounds. Also, you can use sweet sausage if you don’t want it to be spicy.)
- Juice of 3 lemons (plus zest of 1-2 of the lemons for topping, if desired)
- 3 1/2 cups garlic or chicken broth (I used 3 1/2 teaspoons of Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 3 1/2 cups of water)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 pound (1 box) linguine, with the noodles broken in half (to all the hardcore Italians – don’t cringe. You have to so it fits in the pot and properly cooks)
- 5-8 ounces baby spinach
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping, if desired)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
- Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add in the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Then, add in the butter and, once melted, add in the mushrooms and sauté, stirring often, for 5 minutes until softened, darkened and cooked down. The bottom of the pot will likely brown a bit at first but once the mushrooms begin to release their juices and become a bit syrupy, you will be able to deglaze/scrape the bottom of the pot clean.
- Add in the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer followed by the sausage and break it apart until it’s crumbled and lightly browned, about 3 more minutes.
- Now, add in the lemon juice and allow everything to simmer in it for 2 minutes. Then, pour in the broth, oregano, dried parsley, cayenne pepper (if using), and crushed red pepper flake (if using). Stir everything together well.
- Add the linguine (that’s broken in half), but DO NOT STIR! Just smooth it out with a mixing spoon/wooden spatula so it’s just lightly submerged in the broth. Top with the spinach and, again, DO NOT STIR! Just let it rest there.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done. Give everything a good stir (and don’t worry if it seems like there’s a lot of liquid still in the pot. This is what we want).
- Lastly, stir in the Parmesan followed by the cream and let rest for 3 minutes so the sauce totally comes together before serving in bowls topped with some lemon zest and more Parmesan (see yellow “Jeffrey Sez” section if you want it SUPER lemony).
If you want it even more lemony, add the zest of one lemon as well as the juice of a 4th lemon in Step 7.
If you don’t like mushrooms, skip Step 2 by leaving them out as well as the butter (the butter is just needed to properly sauté the mushrooms which, in turn, absorbs all the butter).
Don’t want it spicy? Use sweet Italian sausage and skip the cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes.
To that point, if you want it SUPER spicy, simply add more cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes to the point where your lips can stand it and you can breathe fire.
To reheat leftovers (IF you have any), simply place in microwave for a minute or two with a little more cream and mix up when cooked.