After a mild start to the Midwestern winter, the weather is about to turn cold. Snow is in the forecast for where I live. On cold nights, I love comfort food--hot, filling, maybe even some spice. This isn't so easy when you've decided to get your butt in gear for the New Year and finally drop the weight that's come on after a couple of years of having babies and spending many hours at the computer working on the latest manuscript.
But I found this recipe in an old Weight Watchers cookbook and adapted it (for those counting, it's 11 points). The peppers give a nice vitamin boost while the sausage and pasta are satisfying enough that you won't be raiding the cookie jar for a midnight snack.
Penne with Italian Sausage & Peppers
2 C whole grain penne pasta
1/2 lb sausage (You can use sweet or spicy, links or bulk sausage. If you want to lighten it up even more, go the turkey sausage route.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and greens discarded
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 Tbs Italian herbs
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbs feta or parmesan cheese
1. Cook your pasta according to package directions and drain. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet then saute together the garlic, onion, fennel, and peppers until nicely caramelized.
3. Add the canned tomatoes and sausage. I just broke up some bulk sausage and dropped it in. You don't need to cook the sausage first. Cover and simmer for twenty minutes. If it becomes dry, add some water to loosen up the sauce again.
4. Add herbs, salt, and pepper and toss with pasta. Top with some feta or parmesan cheese if you so desire.
There you have it! It's super easy and makes about four servings. Also good to know, the leftovers heat up really well. Enjoy!