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This dish is a must have in your recipe box for several reasons:

  1. It’s tasty. How can you resist a juicy mound of sausage, mushrooms, garlic, and onions mixed in with rotini pasta and tomato sauce–then covered in mozzarella and Parmesan cheese?
  2. Tastes like home. I say this a lot when I cook, and that’s mainly because I’m mostly drawn to recipes that are similar to what my mom would make at home/would also want to make.
  3. It’s so easy.
  4. It’s cheap.
  5. It’s healthy.

Do you want in?

Baked Rotini with Mushrooms and Sausage (Slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups dry whole grain/whole wheat rotini
  • 12 oz uncooked chicken or turkey sausage, sliced (for faster cooking)
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added, undrained
  • 1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce (note: only use about 3/4 of the jar)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • sprinkles of basil, oregano, salt, and pepper
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the rotini according to the package directions; drain, return to pot, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a pot/Dutch oven coated with cooking spray on medium-high heat, breaking the sausage up so it cooks faster. Once the sausage is close to being done (no longer pink, but not browned), add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the vegetables until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft.

3. Once the sausage and mushroom mixture is cooked, add to the pasta pot. Pour in the diced tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, crushed red pepper, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Transfer the pasta to a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and pasta is heated through.

My Two Cents: This recipe is simple, delicious, and easy to alter to your own taste. You can easily make this with ground meat (turkey, chicken, or beef). Or you can make this with vegetable (soy) sausages. I chose to make it with chicken sausage (mostly because it was on sale, but also because it has less fat than beef sausages). Also, sausage in general has more flavor and spices in it than ground beef. For that reason, though, they also have more sodium. You win and lose in either direction. However, I used no salt added diced tomatoes, and lower sodium spaghetti sauce.

And I like a little basil and oregano sprinkled in there to kick it up without adding too much sodium to the mix.

Enjoy! This makes a lot :)

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