Spicy Turkey Sausage Penne Pasta Recipe

 I’m really trying to be better about actually cooking the meals we eat for dinner. I set a goal of making dinner at least 3 times during the work week.  I know many of you will laugh, but for me, this is a challenge.  Which is why I’ve found I have a better chance of meeting my goal when I use yummy recipes that don’t take all day (and every dish in the kitchen) to make.  And this 30 minute meal is just the perfect addition to my homemade dinner rotation.

Even though this is a pasta dish, it’s rather healthy and low fat.

8 ounces of uncooked penne frigate pasta
6 ounces of spicy turkey Italian sausage with the casings removed
2 medium zucchinis
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
3 garlic cloves, minced
dash of sugar
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 (28 ounce) can of no-salt-added whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
Cooking spray
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. Add sausage to the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes or until brown and crumbled. Discard excess fat and remove pasta from the pan. Wipe the remaining drippings from the pan with a paper towel.

4. Dice zucchini and add it to the pan. Saute 3 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring the entire time.  Add the oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper, dash of sugar and the minced garlic. Saute for another minute, stirring constantly.  Add the vinegar and cook for another 30 seconds.

5. Now this part is fun (and messy). Crush the tomatoes by hand and add them to the zucchini mixture.  Pour in about 1 cup of the remaining tomato liquid from the can. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the whipping cream.

6. Add the penne pasta and the sausage to the tomato mixture.  Stir to combine.

7. Grease a casserole dish (11×7) with the cooking spray. Pour about half of the pasta mixture into the casserole dish and spread evenly.  Sprinkle about one third of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Reggiano over the top.  Top with the remaining pasta mixture.  Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheeses.

8. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.  I have a ghetto fabulous oven and it only took 15 minutes.

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  • Reply
    nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma
    October 11, 2012 at 3:10 am

    I nearly spit out my drink at ghetto fabulous oven.

    Have you ever thought about batch cooking? One of my best friends who travels a lot for work {with two kids under 3}, cooks ALL her meals on Sundays. Even though I work from home on two blogs, I may start doing this to quell the insanity that is dinnertime…

    Food for thought.

  • Reply
    Em @ And Nothing Else Matters
    October 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Oh yum! So simple and looks so good. And my two will definitely eat it all up. I mean, sausage, pasta, cheese. It’s a winning combo for sure!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims
    October 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Looks yummy! I only shoot for three homemade meals a week too 🙂

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Hey girl….I have some super easy yummy slow cooker recipes you may like too:) this sounds delicious:)

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    That looks delish! And, I agree with Tracie. Girlfriend, you need a crock pot. Easiest cooking ever.

    I actually really like to cook, but I have a hard time making dinner too. Especially weeknights before my husband gets home (and he gets home sort of late so I don’t like waiting to start until after he’s here because then we’d have toddlers not eating til 9pm) It’s hard to watch 3 tiny kids and cook a real meal at the same time!

    Rotisserie chickens are my best friend in the kitchen. We eat it one day, just plain meat with veggies, then I shred the left overs & use them for chicken salad, BBQ chicken sandwiches, soup, chicken Cesar salad, or quesadillas later in the week. I can usually get 3 meals out of 1 chicken and they all take 15 minutes or less. (For soup just throw the meat in a crock pot all day with a bag of frozen veggies and a can of chicken stock, then fill the rest up with water and add some spices. Add minute rice or noodles about 10 minutes before you want to serve. )

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Jamie Oliver has a 15 minute meals iPhone app which I love. He’s about to bring out a 15 minute meals book – his. 30 min meals is also one of my favs if you’re looking for quick, easy family recipes x

  • Reply
    debbie Mollner
    October 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    YUM, can’t wait to try this soon!!!

  • Reply
    October 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    That looks delicous! I will definitely be making it soon. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012 at 2:48 am

    It looks yummy! I am trying to do more cooking so we don’t have to eat out so much.

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    This looks amazing!!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    This looks fabulous! I am going to have to try this for sure. Pinning for later, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    xarlem creations
    October 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    thanks for sharing!! the ingredients are easy to find, perfect for me!!

  • Reply
    Isabelle D
    October 17, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Here’s my easy recipe for leftovers:

    In a big bowl, mix:

    – Leftover rice
    – Leftover meat (chicken, ham, bacon, etc)
    – Leftover veggies (or frozen veggies or canned veggies)
    – 1 can of cream of (brocoli, chicken, mushroom, etc)
    – Salt, pepper and/or other spices (curry powder or pesto taste great!)

    Spread in a dish, cook +/- 1 hour at 350/375 in the oven.. You can add a layer of shredded cheese for the last 10 min in you want to… Easy peasy!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

    I made this last night and it was amazing! My meat & potatoes husband loved it as well. I’m going to feature it on my blog for my readers and link back so we can all try your other recipes. Thank you for sharing and have a lovely weekend with your beautiful family!

  • Reply
    Candice Prokop
    October 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    the 101th cartel coin crack that I am testing, so.. 1 out of 100 are working 😐

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