So I'm playing it a little fast and loose with my pasta intake levels, so what? Pasta is what makes life worth living. Some may disagree, but when I get out of bed in the morning (on what is my "Monday") at 5am (yeah, that early) and it's actually cold (44 degrees) for the first time since last winter (no joke), it's the thought of the pasta I'm planning for dinner that gives me the strength to go to work for ten hours.
No, it's not baked. No, it's not dessert. I know, you're surprised. Frankly I am too. I thought for sure I would have told you about pumpkin cookies by now. But that's for later.
My favorite ingredient to add to pastas lately? Spinach. It's brilliant, delicious, filling, and healthies-up whatever you're planning on indulging in. Lately my favorite omgimstarvinganditsonlytwooclock snack is, you guessed it, spinach salad. Throw some blueberries on there, it's a treat. It helps if you like straight balsamic (or any other kind of) vinegar. Sick, I know. But I save a TON of calories by leaving out the oil. Who needs it anyway, am I right?
But we're talking about pasta. With my pizza topping of choice, sausage. I don't know how many of you out there are Italian, but in my family we make a simple yet delicious dish which consists of Italian sausage, potatoes, peppers, and onions, baked in a casserole dish. So simple, so good. Here's my pasta-version.
Italian Sausage and Peppers Penne
12 oz penne pasta
1.25 lb hot Italian turkey sausage
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
1/4 cup parmesan
8 oz fresh spinach
1 medium onion chopped
6 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
Boil a pot of salted water. Add the pasta, cook according to instructions for "al dente" or 10ish minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy water and then drain the penne, set aside.
While water is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add garlic, onion, and peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.
Remove sausage casings and discard. Add sausage to veggie mixture, breaking it up and cooking until golden brown, 6-8 minutes.
Once sausage is finished cooking, Add spinach, cooking and stirring until wilted. Return penne to the pot it was boiled in, add the sausage mixture. Add parmesan cheese and starchy water. Stir until mixed and coated thoroughly, serve immediately.