Thursday, April 8, 2010

Penne with Italian Sausage

This recipe is a favorite at our house. It is fresh, delicious, and can be made to be low fat and healthy. I've made it for company a couple of times and it has always gotten rave reviews. I generally use spicy Italian sausage for the extra flavor because we like a little kick, but you can use the mild version for less spice or turkey Italian sausage for a lower fat version. I've made all of these versions and they are all great.

Penne with Italian Sausage
1 lb Italian sausage links (generally there are 5 links in a package)
1 medium onion, chopped (yellow or white)
2 cloves minced garlic
28 oz diced tomatoes (1 large can or 2 regular cans)
2 T pesto
1 1/2 cups penne pasta
3 cups fresh spinach
2 oz feta cheese

Cut sausages into 1/4 inch slices. In large saute pan, combine sausage, onion and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until sausage is cooked and no longer pink in the center, stirring frequently.

Add diced tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan, prepare pasta as directed on package. Once cooked, drain and set aside. Once finished simmering, add pesto to sausage mixture and stir to combine evenly. Spread cooked penne in bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish. Pour sausage mixture over pasta. Add spinach and feta and use spatula to carefully stir and turn all ingredients in pan to mix well (we are going for a casserole feel here, not separate layers).

Baked uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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