Monday, October 14, 2013

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula is a quick but amazing dinner with some of my favorite flavors.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula found on

There's nothing I like much more than Italian Sausage, unless it's arugula, so it's easy to see why this recipe for Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula is one of my personal favorites. And did I mention there's garlic, a touch of lemon, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese? I love this combination of flavors, which could also be made with zucchini noodles if you're really limiting carbs.

Arugula is definitely an acquired taste, but I love the peppery flavor of the greens that go so nicely with the spicy Italian sausage, lemon, and Parmesan. I made this recently with Jake to update the photos, and we gobbled it up, even though we'd already tested several other recipes that day and weren't really hungry. (It's a tough job, but someone has got to try out the recipes!) Enjoy!

(Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula was updated with better photos and step-by-step instructions, October 2013.)

I make this with turkey Hot Italian sausage that's low in fat but still has great flavor, and this is the brand I buy over and over. 

Heat the oil in a frying pan, then squeeze the sausage out of the casing and cook until it's well-browned, breaking apart with the turner as it cooks.  (Don't rush this step; browning the sausage adds a lot of flavor.) 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water generously, and add the spaghetti (about 1/4 of this package).   Cook just until it's barely al-dente.  (I used to make this with Dreamfields spaghetti, but these days I prefer my favorite Italian whole wheat spaghetti for this recipe.  Either type of spaghetti will be good.)

While the spaghetti and the sausage are cooking, put the arugula into a glass or crockery bowl.  (You can crisp it in cold water first if it needs it, then spin dry.)

When the sausage is nicely browned, put it on top of the arugula in the bowl.

Add the garlic to the pan and saute about 30 seconds; then add 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and lemon juice and cook about 2 minutes.

As soon as it's barely al-dente, drain the pasta well, reserving another 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Then put the hot pasta over the arugula and sausage in the bowl and let it sit for 2 minutes to wilt the arugula.

Then add the water-lemon-garlic mixture from then pan.

Toss the mixture together (with the extra pasta cooking water if you need it.)  Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

And just to show why I'm re-taking all these photos, here's the original photo of this recipe from 2007!

Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula
(Makes 2-3 servings, can be doubled or tripled)

2 links (about 8 oz.) turkey Hot Italian Sausage
2 tsp. olive oil
4 oz. (1/4 box) whole wheat spaghetti (I like my favorite Italian whole wheat spaghetti for this recipe.)
salt, for pasta cooking water (at least 1 tsp.)
3 oz. baby arugula, preferably organic
1 tsp. finely minced garlic (more or less, to taste)
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup pasta cooking water
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Parmesan cheese for serving, preferably freshly grated

In nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil, then squeeze sausage out of casing into pan and brown well, breaking up into small pieces as it cooks. While sausage is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook 8-9 minutes, or until barely done and still *al dente* (with a little bite to it.)

Put arugula into large glass or crockery bowl. (You can crisp it in cold water and spin dry if needed.)  When sausage is well browned, drain if there is very much fat, then pour sausage over arugula. Put frying pan back on stove, turn heat to very low, add garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and lemon juice and heat 2 minutes.

When spaghetti seems done, scoop out another 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water in case you need it, then drain pasta well and put in the bowl with arugula and sausage. Let sit 2 minutes to wilt arugula. Then add water/lemon juice/pasta water mixture from frying pan and toss all ingredients together. If it seems dry, add a bit more of the reserved pasta cooking water. Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese over top.

South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions:
With turkey Italian Sausage and whole wheat spaghetti, this would make a great Phase 2 dinner for the South Beach Diet, maybe combined with something like Absolutely Perfect Restaurant Quality Salad. For phase three you could have a larger serving of spaghetti. For a low-carb meal that would be suitable for Phase 1, replace the spaghetti with zucchini noodles.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ways to Use Arugula:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Chicken, Brie, Fig, and Arugula Panini ~ Panini Happy

Arugula Chickpea Salad with Feta and Balsamic-Tahini Vinaigrette ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Arugula, Berries, and Goat Cheese Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing ~ The Perfect Pantry

Arugula, Grape, and Shaved Manchego Salad ~ Kalyn's Kitchen

Angel Hair Pasta with Chile, Lemon, and Arugula ~ Shutterbean

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and this blog earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

More to Chew On:


  1. This looks great I just LOVE Arugula. The only difficult thing is that I find the quality of the arugula I can buy to be pretty pathetic. My parents grow it and it is a whole different beast. I keep waiting for it to become more of a phenomenom in North America. Hopefully in Utah you don't have this problem :)

  2. Those are pretty much three of my favourite things! Instead of a salad (for meals like this), I usually greatly increase the quantity of greens.

  3. Arugula tastes so good with pasta! Perfect!

  4. Oh - yum! I would love some of that right now!

  5. Ooh baby! I'm all over this. I love Applegate organic Italian sausages - and with arugula, and brown rice spaghetti, this could be gluten-free fantastic.

    Kalyn, you always have something yummy up your sleeve. xoxo

  6. Oh Kalyn, this made my mouth water!! I'm not too familiar with Arugula but I'll defiantly give this a try!!

  7. Arugula and sausage are perfect. Old camera or whatever, this looks really good.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. I don't mean to be rude, but I can't let people leave links in the comments because if I start to allow it I'll get tons of spam from people advertising things through my comments. So even when people mean well, if you leave a link in the comments I'll have to delete it.

  10. Thanks Karen, it is really the most amazing flavor combination, and super easy to make as well!

  11. This must be the 50th recipe I have printed from your fabulous blog. In fact, it may be closer to 100. I have lost 14 pounds with Weight Watchers, but also find your recipes both delicious and compatible. Thanks so much!!

  12. Thanks Toni; I am so happy the recipes are useful for you! And way to go on the weight loss!

  13. This looks amazing and I have some arugula in the frig from the CSA I just joined. I put some in a salad but wasn't sure what to do with the rest of it.

    Also, I LOVE your pics... I wish the ones on my blog were as lovely as yours. ;-)

  14. Thanks Glo, hope you enjoy it. And I've been working on my photos for about 8 years now, glad they are appealing! I'm still not satisfied with them about half the time!

  15. I love that it's such a high ratio of greens to pasta. I love the peppery bite of arugula and how it goes so well with pasta!

  16. Thanks Kelley. I'm just crazy about this dish.

  17. I'm sitting down to a big bowl of this right now! I love it, although I think I was a little more generous with my helping of pasta so I don't know if I'll lose any pound :). But it is satisfying and healthy and delicious. You are so wonderful to keep thinking up these great recipes.

  18. This looks scrumptious! Often when I make dinner for my family, my stepson wants pasta, sausage and marinara, as does my husband. However my daughter and I are more salad based kind of girls. This is a perfect food for us! I can make this for my daughter and I and use the rest of the sausage for the boys version. YUM! I think I may need to link to this on my blog!!!

  19. I'm just crazy about this, so I hope you like it as much as I do!

  20. We had this last night fo r diner, and it was DELICIOUS! My husband raved about it, and I came out looking like a culinary genius. Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. Tia, so glad you enjoyed it so much! As I keep saying over and over, I LOVE this recipe!


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