During a recent visit to my favorite farmer’s market, I stumbled upon two vendors selling homemade Italian products. One of them happened to be my brother in law’s uncle who makes fresh mozzarella. I’m telling you, it tastes like butta’. In the next stall was a lady who makes homemade pasta in a variety of flavors. The one that caught my eye is a whole grain version made from farro, a whole grain commonly eaten in Italy. (I can hear Giada pronouncing it as I type.) The best part about fresh pasta? It literally cooks in 2 minutes flat. Needless to say, as a gal who married an Italian from Boston and lived there for 9 years herself, it was quite the happy moment to stumble upon homemade Italian products in the middle of West Michigan.
Regardless of how pasta is made, it is still pretty caloric ounce per ounce. My trick? Load it up with lean protein, fresh veggies and plenty of fresh herbs. This dish also makes fabulous leftovers the next day and like many pasta dishes, actually tastes better as it sits. Feel free to change up the veggies – let the farmers market and season guide your choice. Asparagus would work perfectly this time of year as would fresh peas.
Your fork is waiting.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Italian Sausage
- 8 oz whole wheat fettuccini or any type of wheat pasta fresh or dry
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1 lb Italian turkey sausage hot or sweet – removed from casings
- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 14 oz mushrooms sliced
- 1 bag spinach
- 1/4 c parmesan cheese
- 1/4 c basil chopped
- 1/4 c parsley chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta noodles according to package directions and set aside reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking pasta water.
- Meanwhile, sautee onions in non-fat cooking spray in a large pan until tender, about 6 minutes.
- Add garlic and sautee additional 30 seconds.
- Remove sausage from casings and cook until browned about 10 minutes.
- Be sure to constantly break up with sausage with a wooden spoon.
- Don’t be afraid to let the meat brown – the more color, the more flavor.
- Once browned, add reserved pasta cooking water and use a wooden spoon to break up the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add peppers and sautee 4-5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and spinach then cook another 4 minutes or until tender.
- Toss in parmesan cheese and fettuccini before seasoning with salt/pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh basil and parsley before serving.