Chef’s Notes: This recipe is a new twist on a classic favorite. Potatoes au gratin are enhanced by Italian sausage and spinach for a comforting dish that is full of flavor. (This recipe was submitted in the Taste of Home Calling All Casseroles recipe contest.)
Potatoes Au Gratin with Italian Sausage and Spinach
2 medium potatoes
1 T. butter
1 T. flour
1 C. milk
1 C. gouda cheese
1 C. provolone cheese
1 Italian sausage (turkey or pork)
1/2 C. red bell pepper, diced
1/4 of a package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 C. sharp Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub potatoes and slice into thin slices. (You should have about two cups of potato slices.) Arrange potato slices in glass pie plate or other shallow baking dish. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, then add flour and cook until the flour is lightly browned. Add milk, turn heat up to medium-high, stir and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. When mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes, remove from heat. Add the gouda and provolone cheeses and stir until the cheeses are melted. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and put in oven. Bake 30 minutes.
While the potatoes are baking, cook sausage in a cast iron skillet until the outside is browned and it is just done enough so that it can be broken apart and crumbled. Combine the crumbled sausage, red bell pepper, and spinach in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes. When the potatoes have cooked for 30 minutes, add sausage mixture to the potatoes, and stir to combine. Top with cheddar cheese. Return to oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes.