This recipe is adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe. While I *can* read, I have a hard time following directions without improvising.
A couple of editorial notes… Oscar Mayer makes a pretty good Turkey Smoked Sausage. I don’t think I’d like it much to just grill (which is my favorite method of preparing smoked sausage), but in this application it’s fine. It’s combined with lots of other flavors and textures in this dish.
Don’t be afraid of the crushed red pepper flakes! I’m pretty sensitive to spicy foods, but this amount of crushed red pepper in this recipe will not be spicy. It was a leap of faith for me to use it; I found it to be a full, pleasing flavor in the background of the dish. It created a tiny bit of heat that gradually built up as I ate the meal, but that could be tamed with a swig of
wine water. (Don’t be impressed. I’m not really a foodie. I just play one on this blog.)
With respect to the wine, I’ve always heard when watching Food Network chefs that it’s imperative to cook with a wine that you would drink from a glass. The water in the wine evaporates, which concentrates the flavor of the wine. So, if you start with a yucky wine, you end up with a really yucky dish. (I did find this out the hard way the other night in a risotto recipe. Double-yuck.) Now, I’m not much of a red-wine drinker, but Knight really likes it. I let him choose; he generally goes with something really dry like a merlot or a cabernet sauvignon. I’ve made this recipe with several varieties of red wine, and it was delicious each time!
Turkey Sausage and Pepper Pasta
2 tsp olive oil
14 oz. turkey smoked sausage, sliced
2 bell peppers (any color) or cubanelle peppers, sliced
1/2 white onion, sliced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 C red wine
28 oz canned fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
Bring large pot of water to a boil.
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lay the sliced sausage in the skillet in one layer and brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. (This may have to be done in two batches.) Remove the sausage to a plate.
To the same skillet, add the other teaspoon of olive oil, crushed red pepper, salt, and sliced peppers. Saute the onions and peppers until tender, about 4 minutes.
Heavily salt the pot of boiling water and drop in the pasta. Cook following the directions on the package.
To the peppers, add the red wine, tomatoes, and garlic and bring to a boil. At the same time, use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the skillet to bring up all the delicious bits stuck down there. Add the sausage back to the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and let the sauce reduce while the pasta cooks.
When the pasta is al dente, drain it well. Serve the pasta topped by the sausage and pepper sauce immediately, garnishing with the grated parmesan cheese.
Servings: I divide this into five servings (one each for Knight and me, one to split between the kids, and two for lunch the next day). At five servings, they are 370 calories each, calculated using My Fitness Pal.
Sides: I usually serve this with a tossed salad and garlic bread.