Saturday, June 20, 2015

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Turkey Sausage

This recipe was in my Food Network Magazine a few months ago in the quick weeknight cooking section. I chose to cook it because it had a low calorie count (about 470/serving) with a lot of flavor while still being filling. I usually just adapt it to what we have in our pantry at the time. I've made it a few times both pretty close to the same, but different than the original. Quite often we double the recipe so we have food for the week as it keeps really well in the fridge. To reheat, I add a small splash of water before putting it in the microwave for a couple minutes on medium heat.

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Turkey Sausage
(Adapted from Here)


10 ounces pasta, penne or rigatoni
4 cups spinach (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh basil (or 2 tbsp dried basil)
1 tablespoon olive oil, you may need more if you like your pesto looser
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Zest of 1 lemon, plus the juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping if desired
3 Hot Italian Turkey Sausages (about 3 ounces each), with the casings removed
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
Salt and Freshly ground pepper


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a good bit of table salt to the water once at a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook as directed. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, pulse the spinach, the basil, 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water, olive oil, pine nuts, the lemon zest, lemon juice and the red pepper flakes in a food processor until fairly smooth. Scrape down the sides; add the parmesan and pulse until smooth. Set the pesto aside.

Form the sausage into nickel-size patties or chunks, about 1/2 inch thick. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip, add the garlic to the skillet and cook until the sausage is just cooked through, about 2 more minutes.

Add the pasta, pesto and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water to the skillet. Toss to coat, adding more cooking water as needed; season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

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