Turkey Sausage Baked Penne

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful start to the New Year. I hope that 2017 treats everyone well.

As most people are probably trying to change some eating habits, I find myself trying to keep up with my recently changed workout routine. I have started “training” for my quarter marathon which takes place at the end of April, but the super cold weather this week has started to wear on my motivation. Yes, I could go for a jog in the gym, but my pet-parent guilt would eat me alive, as going outside is the highlight of her (my dog’s) day.

Speaking of the cold, that is why I brought back this delicious, protein-packed beauty into my kitchen. This is a slightly modified Weight Watcher recipe that always fills me up on a chilly day. I find that if I have a large salad while this is heating up, it is a satisfying but not heavy meal. 20170108_154346

I think the star of this recipe is the peas, which I was never a fan of until recently. It might not seem like there is much of a sauce, but between the peas and spices, there is just the right amount of flavor to show the veggies and sausage off.

The fact that this makes eight servings is also a bonus, although even that won’t last you very long if your family likes it the way I do.

Turkey Sausage Baked Penne

Serves 8

Ingredients

3/4 lb raw, spicy turkey sausage (three links- casings removed)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium orange pepper, chopped
28 oz canned diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced)
10 oz frozen green peas, thawed
6 oz fresh baby spinach
3 Tbsp canned tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 oz whole-wheat penne (or Barilla Protein Plus) cooked according to package directions
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Nutrition

Total Calories 313 Calories
Added Sugars 0 Calories
Saturated Fat 22 Calories
Protein 21 g
Carbohydrate 44 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g
Total Sugars 7 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 2 g

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Be sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.
  2.  Place the sausage in the bottom of a large pot and brown over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Break up large pieces.
  3. Drain off fat, the add onion and peppers. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, and all spices. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the spinach and keep mixing until all is wilted. Then, stir in the pasta and half of the cheese.
  6. Spread evenly in 9×13-inch baking pan and top with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces and serving. If freezing, place into individual containers and cool to room temperature before putting lids on.

Health and joy,

alex

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