Thursday, March 15, 2012

5 Meals under $50: Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Spinach, and Sun-dried Tomatoes



This was the second time that I made this pasta dish in two weeks.  It was so delicious the first time that I decided to add it to my 5 meals under $50 week.  It fit well with the other ingredients that I was planning to use and I knew it would be good.  The first time, I made it with kale, based on recipes from Cooking Light  and Serious Eats, that I saw basically within a day of each other.  However, when I did my shopping for the 5 meals, my goal was to do all of my shopping at one store.  The only reason behind that was to have my final receipt show as many of the ingredients as possible and be close to my total expenditure.  So, my initial goal was to use kale again.  Unfortunately, my grocery store is small and has a limited number of items.  By the time I got there on Monday after work, the kale was gone.  So I decided to use spinach instead and the spinach was still delicious.  But, the next time I make the recipe, and believe me I will again, I will switch back to kale.  Sorry for all the babbling... go make this pasta!

PS I used regular pasta because my store was also out of whole wheat pasta the day that I went.  The whole wheat pasta would have been $1-$1.50 more, and it is a much better choice. 

Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Spinach, and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Adapted from Serious Eats and Cooking Light
Serves: 2-4
Time: 30 minutes

1/2 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons oil (reserved from from the sun-dried tomatoes)
3 links of turkey sausage, crumbled*
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup spinach (or more, depending on what is left of your spinach)
Salt and pepper

Cook your pasta until al dente.  Drain and set aside. 

While the pasta cooks, heat the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in a large skillet (you want it big because you are going to add the pasta to toss everything together at the end).  Cook the sausage for about 5 minutes, until the pink starts to disappear.  Add the onions and sun-dried tomatoes and cook an additional five minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.  Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and let the mixture simmer for about five minutes.  Add the spinach and cook just until it wilts (if you use kale, add it when you add the broth), and then add the pasta and toss everything together.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.

*The turkey sausage that I bought came in a 450 gram package.  There were 6 links in the package, so I used half of the package.

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