Monday, April 13, 2009

Recipe for Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Red Peppers and Hot Pepper Flakes

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with sausage and peppersThis recipe started out as something I whipped up when my friend Robin stopped by on a Friday night, and since we both loved the way it turned out, I took a few quick photos. The photos were okay, but not great, so on the weekend I made it again and took some photos when I had natural light. Interestingly enough Robin stopped by that day too, and I fed her this whole wheat spaghetti dish a second time. Both times Robin declared the spaghetti to be *very* good, so here's a super-quick recipe that's good enough to feed your best friend if he or she drops by some night.

Get pasta water starting to boil, then start by cutting one red bell pepper into strips about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a heavy pan, then saute the red pepper strips for 2 minutes. The peppers will get cooked more later, remove them to a dish.

While you're waiting for the water to come to a boil, measure out 4 servings whole wheat spaghetti. I tend to over-estimate on spaghetti, so I love this little plastic gadget that has holes to show how much you need. I used the Garofalo Whole Wheat Italian Spaghetti that I'm so fond of.

In same pan, squeeze out 3 links hot turkey Italian sausage, then cook the sausage about 10 minutes, breaking apart with the back of the turner as it cooks.

When the sausage is done, push to one side of the pan, then add 2 T more olive oil, followed by 1 T minced garlic and about 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes. Saute the garlic and red pepper about a minute.

Add spaghetti to boiling water and set the timer for 8 minutes. Add red peppers back into the pan with sausage and seasonings, then add 1/2 cup chicken stock and 2 tsp. tomato paste. Let sausage and peppers simmer in the stock while the spaghetti cooks.

Start checking at 8 minutes, and drain the spaghetti as soon as it's just al dente. Save 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain spaghetti into a colander in the sink. Add spaghetti to pan with sausage and peppers, add pasta cooking water, and stir gently to combine ingredients and coat the spaghetti. Serve hot, with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Red Peppers, and Hot Pepper Flakes
(Makes 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

salt for pasta water
4 servings whole wheat spaghetti, about 8 ounces (I use Garofalo Whole Wheat Italian Spaghetti
1 T + 2 T olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide
3 links hot turkey Italian sausage, about 12 oz. (or use more sausage, can also use sweet Italian sausage if you prefer)
1 T finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes (use more or less to taste, but we thought it was plenty hot with 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
freshly grated parmesan cheese to pass at the table

Start a large pot of water boiling for pasta, and add a generous amount of salt (1-2 tsp.) Cut off ends of red bell pepper, cut out seeds and inner membranes, then cut the pepper into strips about 1/4 inch wide. Remove stem and cut pepper ends into strips.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan, add pepper strips and saute 2 minutes. Remove peppers to a dish. Squeeze Italian sausage out of casings into frying pan and cook about 10 minutes, breaking sausage apart with a turner as it cooks.

When sausage is done, push to one side of the pan, add 2 T olive oil, minced garlic, and hot pepper flakes. Saute garlic and hot pepper flakes about 1 minute. By now the pasta water should be vigorously boiling, so add spaghetti, lower heat a little and set timer for 8 minutes.

Add sauteed red bell peppers, 1/2 cup chicken stock, and 2 tsp. tomato paste to the frying pan with sausage, and let simmer while spaghetti is cooking. After 8 minutes, start checking spaghetti, and remove from heat when it's barely done but still al dente in the center (about 9 minutes for me, every time I cook this spaghetti.)

Save 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain spaghetti into a colander in the sink. When it's drained, add spaghetti to the pan with sausage and peppers, add pasta cooking water, and gently stir to mix ingredients and coat the spaghetti with sauce liquid and oil.

Serve hot, with freshly grated parmesan cheese to be added at the table.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
This pasta dish with whole wheat spaghetti and turkey Italian sausage is a great option for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Serve the spaghetti with a perfect green salad for a great dinner.

More Ideas for Whole Wheat Spaghetti:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Whole Wheat Sesame Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce from Kalyn
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Swiss Chard, Red Onions, and Pine Nuts from A Mingling of Tastes
Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce from Vicarious Foodie
Greek Style Shrimp Scampi with Whole Wheat Spaghetti from Recipe Girl
Spinach and Turkey Meatballs over Whole Wheat Spaghetti (video) from Dani Spies
(Want even more whole wheat spaghetti recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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  1. Kalyn, this looks AWESOME. My husband is going to be very grateful you posted this recipe - it sounds like it will a new favorite!

  2. oh wow - that recipe for whole wheat spaghetti is incredible!

  3. This spaghetti sounds delicious!!! I make a recipe of Giada De Laurentiis's that is similar, but she uses rigatoni and marsala wine. I like your version with whole wheat spaghetti and chicken broth! I always over-estimate pasta too, so now I weight it on a food scale to be (overly) accurate :)

  4. Haleysuzanne, I do hope he likes it. I can tell it will be a repeater for me!

    Pearl, thanks. Robin and I both loved it. The first time we were both starving, but the second time she kept saying "This is really *very* good."

    Meghan, love the idea of weighing the pasta. I keep my pasta (Dreamfields) in big glass jars, so I'm always guessing how much to use.

  5. This dish looks like perfection on a plate. MM, from the pasta to the sausage and red peppers, OMG!! Heaven!

  6. Wow! I just had whole wheat spaghetti with Italian sausage tonight.

    The thing is, yours looks 10 times better than mine did!

  7. Kalyn, this looks wonderful. My husband is crazy about red peppers, and I use whole wheat spaghetti often, so I look forward to trying this.

    I make a similar recipe, but with diced fresh tomatoes, lots of garlic, red pepper flakes and sausage, and also a scampi fra diavolo version, which you might find interesting.


    ~ Paula

  8. That is one nice recipe Kalyn, I love the combination of peppers and sausage!

  9. This is definitely 'healthy guy food'. I can see them licking their plates!

  10. I must admit that I'm not all that crazy about whole wheat pasta, but I do love Dreamfields (which I first learned about on your blog!), so will make that substitution. Hooray for quick and easy weeknight dinners!

  11. Perfect!! my favorites all in one dish...

  12. Donna, thanks. We loved it.

    Inadobo, can't beat Italian Sausage with pasta in my opinion.

    Paula, sounds wonderful with fresh tomatoes too.

    Ilva, thanks. Wish I could taste the sausage where you live.

    Murasaki, haven't tested it on any guys yet, but I bet it would be a hit. I might use more sausage for guys.

    Lydia, this Italian whole wheat spaghetti is much better than the others I've tried. It's really good.

    Aggie, my favorites too!

  13. Kalyn, how you do manage to read my thoughts from across the country and put up a recipe for exactly what I'm craving?!?!

    This is soooo happening tonight in my kitchen (I'm thinking mushrooms instead of the peppers ... not a peppper person). I'll let you know how it goes!!

  14. Kate, love the sound of this with mushrooms. I'd definitely still use the hot pepper flakes though, they were great in this.

  15. Red pepper flakes in any dish really sing. We love their spice.

  16. i am thinking how can i get this dish right now. ITs perfect.

  17. I have a huge craving for this right now... ship me some Kalyn :)

  18. Looks delicious - I love the red pepper flakes you added!

  19. I have to admit this is a go to dish for me because it's one of the ONLY things I make where I don't need a recipe any more. Love this.

    But I love even more that you showed the spaghetti measuring thingy. I didn't even know those existed. But now I just searched and added one to my Amazon saved cart. Thank you!!!

  20. If I were Robin, I'd stop by every other day! :)

  21. This recipe is right up my alley...pasta, sausage, and veggies. Mmmm-mmmm! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. I love pasta, so this would be one recipe that I would enjoy. Love your pictures.

  23. This looks wonderful! And very easy to make. I`ll have to try this since it`s something I think everyone would like.

  24. This looks absolutely delicious! And so easy to quickly put together!

  25. We love whole wheat pasta at our house! We have been making the fresh stuff too, even better:)

  26. Looks delicious...I may need to add myzithra!

  27. Wish I could ship some of this off to all of you!

    The spaghetti measuring thing is so wonderful if you end up with way too much spaghetti for the amount of sauce. I remember when I first saw it I thought it was so stupid, but once I started using it, I was hooked!

    Helene, thanks for mentioning the photos. I've been trying to work on them (and can't wait to be retired and have more time to try to get really good pictures!) Sometimes I still run out of time and have to use a photo that I don't think is quite right, but I hope I'm improvoing.

    Myzithra would be wonderful with this! Love it.

  28. Must try this. And I always have trouble estimating spaghetti, so I am happy to hear of both that gadget and that others have the same problem :)

  29. This looks delicious!!! I agree, Myzithra would be great with this! Yum!

  30. This looks delicious! I love the combination of bell peppers and sausage.

  31. I truly aprecaite the healthy whole wheat pasta you used. my blog is all about trying to eat as a healthy family.

  32. I made this the other night---it was so yummy I wanted to lick the pan husband liked it so much that (for the first time since I've been using it) he didn't even NOTICE that it was whole wheat spaghetti...and to top it all was ready so quick and easy...lickity split...finger licking good....thanks (btw happy 4th to your blog...)

  33. Thanks everyone! Very glad people are liking this and trying it.

  34. Another great recipe!

    We made this for the second time tonight. My kids (10, 7, and 4) all LOVED it. They said it was "Triple Good" and suggested it be called "Delicious Delight." Pretty good compliments! My husband also thoroughly enjoyed it, which is unusual since he's not a big pasta fan.

    I even added some chopped baby spinach at the end to get some more veggies in! We're looking forward to adding some of our home-grown over-abundant zucchini this summer, too!

    It's a very versatile recipe, too. I used penne, pre-cooked chicken sausage, and roasted red peppers because it's what I had in the pantry and it was almost as good as the original (I really preferred the spaghetti to the penne!)

  35. Jenni, thanks so much for the feedback, and I love it that your kids are calling the recipe "Delicious Delight!" Very cute. Also love the idea of adding some spinach. I'll have to try that version myself.

  36. I like using colored peppers in pasta dishes, they really brighten up the appearance and the flavor. This looks great!


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