Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Turkey Sausage Ragu with Penne

Wow, this recipe was super yummy, very easy to put together, and healthy to boot! Derived from Clean Eating Magazine with just a few changes.

Turkey Sausage Ragu

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
20 oz ground Italian Turkey Sausage (I love Jennie-O brand)
1/4-1/2 tsp chile flakes
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4-1 Cup red wine (rock bottom cheap and delicious, I used Lambrusco's red wine)
28 oz canned tomatoes in juice (any variety, but I used Cento or Bella Terra's tomato strips in sauce)
1 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
6 oz baby spinach (recipe calls for Kale but I like spinach. So there.)
1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
Barilla Multi-Grain penne (or any other pasta) cooked al-dente
Parmesan Reggiano, grated

Instructions: Add olive oil to pot, toss with onion and thyme. Cover and cook over medium heat until softened and beginning to color, stirring often to prevent scorching. Uncover, add turkey and chile flakes. Cook until done, adding garlic towards the end. Deglaze with wine (and drink a glass for yourself as I did), add tomatoes and oregano leaves. Simmer uncovered until thickened (30min-2hrs until desired consistency) season to taste. Stir in spinach, increase heat slightly and cook until wilted.

Add balsamic vinegar then toss with pasta. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

**Note: I was really hesitant to add the Balsamic vinegar at the end. The sauce was perfectly delicious as is and I was wrinkling my nose at the vinegar. ADD IT! It is amazing and adds a perfect finish to the sauce. Doesn't make it tangy or vinegar-y at all, just make sure it's quality vinegar.

Cowboy mmm'd all the way through dinner. Wish I had served it with some toasted garlic bread but I was trying to keep it healthy.

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