Friday, March 5, 2010

Our favorite pasta

This pasta dish came together very quickly, since the sausage was already cooked and the sauce came from a jar. When I make a package of Italian turkey sausage links, I cook the entire package (Jennie-O contains 5 links) and set some aside to freeze for future use. The spicy one is especially great for curry-stuffed acorn squash. When I cook it, I remove the casings and brown the sausage like any regular ground meat. This is also the kind of sausage called for in Clean Eating Magazine's turkey sausage ragu.

Anyway, back to the pasta. It made a perfect after-church lunch on Sunday afternoon, but would also be a nice, fast weeknight meal. We used gluten-free brown rice pasta, but it would work well with any pasta in the shape of your choice. Serve it with fresh fruit or a salad to round out the meal. We make a variation of this several times a month.

Baked Ziti-style Sausage Pasta
serves 4

8oz dry pasta
Jarred marinara sauce
Dried Italian herbs and crushed red pepper, to taste
4oz fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
Handful of fresh spinach, chopped
4oz spicy Italian-style ground turkey sausage, cooked
Shredded mozzarella cheese, optional OR fresh grated parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat marinara sauce in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add mushrooms, spinach, and cooked sausage. Season to taste with Italian herbs and crushed red pepper and heat through.
3. Drain pasta and combine with sauce mixture. Add more sauce if mixture looks too dry. Pour into a lightly-sprayed 8x8 baking dish.
4. Top with shredded cheese, if using, and bake 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

1 comment:

  1. (OK so I don't think this is actually baked ziti-esque, but I didn't know what else to call it)