Italian sausage pasta comes together quickly. (Kate Lawson / The Detroit News)
When the cold hits, that gives me license to hit the carbs. I keep a cupboard full of noodles from lasagna to orzo to penne and linguine and all shapes and sizes in between. Last week, when the polar vortex blasted us, all I could think about, other than staying warm, was staying fueled, and that meant pasta with a yummy sauce.
Trips to the gym were put on hold when I couldnít even leave the house to go to work, but when I get cold, I donít worry about how Iím going to look in a swimsuit in a few months. So instead I put my efforts toward cooking and eating.
I like to keep a good-quality sausage on hand in the freezer, and fortunately I had the foresight to stock up on produce so mushrooms and colorful bell peppers were in the fridge, onions in the basket and I had a nice wedge of Parmesan for grating.
This is one of those meals where anything goes and is why I like to keep a lot of ingredients in my pantry. The result was a hearty sauce to serve over a plate of lovely ruffled pasta called radiatore.
Sausage Mushroom Pasta
Use any shape pasta here, but select one that can hold the sauce. I prefer radiatore, rotini or fusilli. Recipe from Kate Lawson.
1 pound Italian sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Ĺ cup red wine
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
Ĺ pound pasta cooked according to package directions
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Remove casings from sausage and break into chunks. Saute in olive oil until just browned. Pour off excess fat, reserving 2 tablespoons in skillet. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Saute over medium heat until onion and peppers soften. Turn up heat and add wine, let cook down then add tomatoes with juice, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes on low. Serve atop pasta with freshly grated Parmesan. Serves 4.
Per serving: 540 calories; 24 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 40 percent calories from fat); 56 g carbohydrates; 46 mg cholesterol; 824 mg sodium; 23 g protein; 5 g fiber.