Sunday, November 23, 2008

Italian Night

Tonight was pasta night in our home. I don't think I can go a week without eating some sort of pasta. The only requirement is that the pasta have tomatoes (for me) and meat (for my husband). I don't always meet these requirements, but tonight I did.

I think I may have said this before, but if I could, I seriously would eat pasta every night. Every single night. I wouldn't get bored with it. What can I say? I am a carb girl. Jason on the other hand, could eat steak and potatoes every night. To each is own right?

The package of sausage that I bought was a pound, so I have leftovers, which is great. Sausage and pasta for me another night! If you like a lot of heat in your food, I would suggest using hot Italian sausage rather than mild. I couldn't find crushed fire roasted tomatoes at my grocery store, so I used diced instead. It worked out great because the sauce ended up being a little more chunky.

I made the pasta al dente because it soaks up a lot of the juice from the sauce. However, it is your preference how you like your pasta! I didn't have any whole wheat rotini on hand, but for the portion size that you are eating (if you follow the Weight Watchers portion size, which is 1 and 1/3 cup), it's okay to use regular pasta. Whole wheat would be delicious though.

This makes tons, and I sectioned up the portions into little containers. That way, for dinner this week, I can take out a pre-measured container and heat it up. Add a green salad and you have a healthy dinner.
Who would have thought that eating healthy could be so yummy? I know it's a cliche, but I really do enjoy looking for foods that are good for you and taste good as well. I think I have found a good one with this recipe. Now, if I could just find a healthy and low-fat cupcake recipe, I would be all set! Enjoy!

Italian Sausage and Pepper Pasta
from: Weight Watchers

1/2 pound raw turkey sausage, Italian-style, casings removed
2 teaspoons olive oil, extra-virgin
2 medium yellow peppers, cut into long thin strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine
1.5 tablespoon minced garlic
28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted if you can find them
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz. whole-wheat rotini pasta (or fusilli)
1/3 cup basil, fresh, chopped
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, to make sauce, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, stirring and breaking up meat with back of a spoon, until cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes; remove to a plate.

3. Heat oil in same skillet. Add peppers and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are lightly colored and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Add wine and garlic; cook until most of liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper, salt and browned sausage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce is heated through, about 10 minutes.

5. While sauce simmers, add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, return to pot. Add sauce and basil; toss to mix and coat.