When Jon is away I still like to cook a good meal for dinner. Sure, sometimes my daughter and I go out to dinner, usually to her favorite spot for a bite - Wegman's. She gets a kick out of getting her food, paying, and then getting on the elevator to go eat upstairs, and once up there she gathers our napkins, forks, and condiments :). But for the most part I'll cook a balanced meal at home that I can get on the table quickly.
In preparation for our girls' night the other night I picked up some sweet Italian turkey sausage. I love breakfast turkey sausage, but have never used turkey sausage for dinner since Jon only eats pork sausage, so a girls' night would be the perfect time to try it. I also love pork sausage, but was pleasantly surprised that the turkey sausage was just as good once I added some seasoning (I prefer hot sausage so some red pepper flakes did the trick). And at 69% less fat (as per the package), he doesn't know what he's missing. I'll have to sneak it into a dinner one of these days... sssh, don't tell him!
For our turkey sausage dinner inspiration I turned to a cooking forum and asked for recipes. My friend Sarah responded with a link to a recipe in her blog for Bow Ties with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream. Upon reading the recipe I knew it would be quick, easy, and delicious. I made a few changes based on things I had on hand and personal preference. I also cut the recipe in half since it was only the 2 of us.
I had this one on the table in 20 minutes! The prep is quick, you start cooking the sausage while the pasta water is coming to a boil, and then you cook the sausage while the tomatoes and cream are simmering. By the time the pasta is done, the sauce and sausage are ready - this is the perfect weeknight meal.
Creamy Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Tomatoes, and Spinach
Adapted from: A Taste of Home Cooking
- 8 oz pasta, shape of your choice. I used rotini but any small pasta would work well
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 turkey sausage links (1/2 lb), casings removed. I used sweet but hot works too
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional if you want more heat)
- 1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 c dry white wine (optional - I like deglazing with it)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 c heavy (or light) cream
- 2-3 handfuls fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Bring a pot of water to a boil
- In the meantime, heat olive oil over high heat in a large sauté pan. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
- At this point the water should be ready - salt the water (1/2 tsp or so) and cook your pasta. Drain and set aside.
- Once the sausage is cooked, add the red pepper flakes, onions and garlic to the pan; sauté 2 minutes.
- Add the wine and stir, scraping up brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomatoes and cream, and let simmer for 8 minutes.
- Add the spinach and stir to wilt.
- Add the pasta and toss. Season with salt if needed.