I have this…thing…for sausage. I love it. Any kind, any time, any place…if its full of sausage-y goodness, I’m pretty much in love. My favorite part is that it’s already perfectly seasoned… a lot less work. I have to say that Italian sausage is for sure one of my faves. I love it with pasta, in chili, on a chewy roll and smothered in sweet bell peppers. Hello, deliciousness!
Now the problem……you could choke a rat with the grease that renders off bulk pork sausage. Everytime I make it, I think, wow, now here’s something I shouldn’t be eating. LOL. In effort to save our hearts and our waistlines, I have given up my beloved pork Italian sausage (unless I’m at Portillo’s…which is a whole different ballgame) in favor of turkey Italian sausage. Man, I love that stuff! I honestly can’t tell the difference and I feel much better about eating it. I almost always have it in the freezer to break out whenever that sausage craving hits.
This recipe from Giada is perfect quick, light, sausage supper. This was on the table in 15 minutes. Add a salad and you’ve got a complete meal. Loved the kick of spice here. I’m for sure adding this to my quick weeknight meal arsenal.
ORZO WITH SAUSAGE, PEPPERS AND TOMATOES (Recipe Source: Giada de Laurentis as seen on Serious Eats)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 links (7 ounces total) mild Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped (The tomato selection at the store was a particularly hideous brand of nasty on Sunday for some reason…you’ll have that. I subbed two whole canned tomatoes.)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (I subbed 1 tbs. dried)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 3 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey sausage and sauté until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes (if using) to the pan and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the sausage mixture, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine, adding the reserved cooking liquid if needed to loosen the pasta. Top with the Parmesan and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.