Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Pasta

This one pot pasta dish is often requested by Erik, and in fact it was his birthday dinner request this year. The original recipe was from when I did Weight Watchers back in 2012, and I’ve been making a modified version and sharing with friends ever since! And by modified, I mean making it slightly less Weight Watchers friendly; you can’t go wrong with more cheese! Like most recipes you can adjust many of these ingredients to your liking. Erik and I don’t care for the mushrooms, so I left them out of my version. If you’re not into spicy, this would be great with sweet Italian turkey sausage as well. The original recipe used rigatoni, but really any short noodle would work great. Pictured here is orecchiette that I found by the imported pastas at my local store. Serve it up with your favorite garlic bread and salad for a fantastic Italian night in!

Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Pasta

Servings 4
Author Laura Doerr

Ingredients

  • 8 oz uncooked rigatoni or any short pasta
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 8 oz hot Italian turkey sausage casings removed
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced jarred, packed in water
  • 1/4 cup scallions sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water

Instructions

  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and salt and cook according to package directions for al dente. 

  2. In a large skillet, cook sausage on medium-high heat (removed from casings) until browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Remove to a plate. Add garlic to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn!

  3. In a large measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the milk and flour until smooth and lumps are dissolved. Stir into skillet with peas, and salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil, and turn down to low and simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Stir the sausage back in, along with the red peppers and scallions. 

  4. After reserving a cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta and add into the sausage sauce; add cheese and toss until cheese is melted.  Add in some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. Sprinkle with additional shredded parm if desired. Serve up in bowls or transfer to one large serving bowl. 

Recipe Notes

Optional items include swapping sweet sausage for hot sausage, or even using pork sausage, but I prefer the spicy turkey sausage. Original recipe calls for 8 oz. mushrooms. You could also use grated parm, but the fresh grated (imported) is the best and gives it a great flavor! Don't skimp on the cheese!

We often have leftovers, make sure to add liquid (milk or water) when re-heating; pasta will absorb liquid as it sits. 

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