When I came across this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had to make it. A quick, easy, one-pot sausage pasta? Sold! Plus it was from America's Test Kitchen, and they can pretty much do no wrong.
I made it, and while it was tasty, it was a little underwhelming.
But when I heated up the leftovers the next day for lunch, it was amazing! Apparently it's best made early. The pasta soaks up even more flavor and everything melds together perfectly. It was definitely a keeper.
Since it was so delicious, I knew it would be something I would want to make frequently. But with regular white-flour pasta and heavy cream, it wasn't really healthy.
So I did a little tweaking, and now it's a super delicious and healthy entree you can enjoy without guilt. Now the cream is gone and the pasta is whole wheat. And I promise you'll still love it! I'm not a whole wheat pasta fan, but this dish is so flavorful, you really don't even notice. The recipe in the book called for fatty chorizo, but I love turkey Kielbasa sausage. So much less fat and calories, but it tastes amazing!
I've also made it less spicy since I have a son who starts sweating at a taste of mild salsa. It's kid-friendly now too!
Delicious, healthy, kid-friendly, and easy: it's a definite winner!
Make-Ahead Sausage Pasta
Serves about 6
- 1 Tablespoon Oil (Canola, Vegetable, or Olive)
- 14 Ounce Package Turkey Kielbasa, Sliced lengthwise and cut into about 1/4" pieces
- 1 Small Onion, Diced 1/4"
- 2-4 Garlic Cloves, Minced (I love garlic!)
- 2 Cups (1 Can) Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 8 Ounces Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
- 1 14.5 Ounce Can Petite Diced Tomatoes (Do not drain) [If you want it spicy, use a can of Rotel instead)
- 1/2 Cup Milk (I use skim)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 Cup (4 oz) Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- Please note this recipe is best when made ahead. You can prepare it completely the day before, stick the whole pan in the fridge, and just place the pan back on the stove to gently heat it when you want to serve it. I've started preparing it the day of now, about 1.5-2 hours before dinner. I let it cool for about an hour on the counter after I've prepared it, then heat it back to steaming at dinner. Totally safe, as it's not in the 40-140 danger zone even close to the four hour limit. Now, on to the recipe!
- In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sausage and onions and cook for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add in the chicken broth, pasta, tomatoes and their liquid, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. (I generally use about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper).
- Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, stirring once or twice.
- Stir in the shredded cheese.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and either refrigerate until later, or allow to cool for about an hour on the counter.
- When ready to serve, place the pan on the stove over low heat and stir occasionally until hot throughout.
Hope you all enjoy this! It's fast becoming one of our favorite recipes!