My sister, Peggy, is a really good cook who often comes up with great new recipes she's either seen on the Food Network or has concocted herself.
One of those recipes is a pasta and Italian sausage dish that is really good and easy to put together. She's even made some substitutions to make it more healthy and cut some of the fat.
Pasta and sausage dinner
1 package sweet Italian sausage (we use turkey sausage)
16 oz whole wheat or vegetable rotini pasta
1-2 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-2 TBSP minced garlic
1 bottle sun dried tomato vinaigrette (or something similar)
1 pkg shredded Parmesan cheese
In a sauce pan, prepare pasta until it is done. We prefer al dente, but cook the pasta to your liking. Drain and set aside.
In a frying pan, squeeze sausage out of casings and brown. Be sure to chop up the meat so it is in bite-sized chunks. Add onion and garlic to the meat and saute until tender.
Drain off excess fat from sausage (there won't be any with the turkey sausage). Add the tomato paste to the meat mixture and stir until combined.
Toss the drained pasta and the meat mixture together, then add the salad dressing to give it a nice coating. You don't want it soupy. Stir together over low heat and make sure it's heated through.
Serve in a pasta dish and top with the Parmesan cheese. Serves 4 to 6 people.
Cook's note: Tomato paste is sold in a tube, too, and can be found at most grocery stores, so you can use 1-2 tablespoons without opening a can and then throwing the rest away.
Peggy uses Ken's sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and prefers that. Tom and I tried raspberry vinaigrette and that was tasty, too!
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