It should come as no surprise that when I don’t know what to cook, my mind frequently turns to some kind of pasta. Usually with a little meat, a lot of veg, and some kind of cheese or sauce or oil that flavors the whole dish. I’ve put this kind of combination time and time again. But it never gets old! The combinations are limitless.
So what I have for you today is a somewhat New-Years-Resolution-Keeping kind of pasta dish. I know pasta gets a lot of flak for being full of carbohydrates and all, but I feel like with the active days I tend to have between teaching here and there, biking between all of my gigs, plus the long, physically demanding carpenter days I put in frequently, I feel like pasta is sometimes just what I need to keep me going.
But in the interest of not making it super unhealthy, I used a smoked Turkey Kielbasa for maximum flavor with significantly lower fat and calories than any kind of pork or beef sausage. And I cooked the brussels sprouts in a little oil plus a bunch of this amazing Cherry-Ginger Vinaigrette I got for Christmas (thanks, Theda!), which simply loads them with flavor without adding too much oil. And a few meaty mushrooms plus a little spinach (it was starting to fade… just used it up in this recipe) makes this a meal. Even without cheese.
- 30 min
- 1 lb short pasta (I used rotini)
- 1 tbsp herbes de provence olive oil
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
- 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cherry-ginger vinaigrette
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb smoked turkey kielbasa, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 8 oz button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 cups baby spinach, sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
In a large saucepan, cook the pasta in salted, boiling water until just al dente. Drain, toss with a little olive oil, and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the herbes de provence oil over medium heat until gently rippling. Add the brussels sprouts, soy sauce, and cherry-ginger vinaigrette. Stir and saute for just a minute, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until sprouts are tender but still nice and green. Cover and set aside.
In the same saucepan you used to cook the pasta, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the kielbasa, mushrooms, spinach and crushed red. Saute until the spinach is wilted and the mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cooked pasta, as well as the cooked sprouts and whatever liquid is in the bottom of the pan. Toss everything together and serve!
Simple, delicious, flavorful. What else can I say? Obviously you probably won’t be using the same dressing I used… so improvise with a little cherry jam plus balsamic vinegar, or even champagne vinegar, or possibly sherry vinegar might be nice? And if you throw in a bit of grated fresh ginger, I’m sure it will give that nice warm heat that makes a dish like this so irresistible.
What do you like with or on your pasta? Butter and cheese? Red sauce? Bit fat meatballs?