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We have an abundance of gardens in our new neighborhood.  Over the weekend I received a bag of fresh picked, long, snap green beans from a lovely family down the street.  Thinking through the normal recipes for these olive colored vegetables, I couldn’t help but go a different direction from steaming or sautéing as a side dish.  And why not make pasta, right?

Sautéing or roasting vegetables with olive oil enhances flavor and texture.  I added some sweet corn, juicy tomatoes and lean Italian chicken sausage to make a healthy, filling main dish.  When craving pasta, and trying to lose or maintain weight, use smaller portions of pasta and more vegetables and lean meat in your recipe.  Just as satisfying with fewer calories.   

Farmer’s markets are still up and running this season.  Pop by your local stands and pick up fresh ingredients for this easy, nutritious weeknight or weekend dish.

FARMER’S MARKET PASTA with SAUSAGE & FRESH HERBS

serves 6

Pasta:

  • 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • 2 LEAN CHICKEN SAUSAGE LINKS, ITALIAN
  • 3 cups FRESH GREEN BEANS, ends trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup CHERRY TOMATOES, halved
  • 1 1/2 cup CORN, FRESH or FROZEN, thawed
  • 4 cloves GARLIC, minced
  • 4 slices TURKEY BACON, cooked and crumbled
  • 6 oz ANGEL HAIR PASTA, WHOLE WHEAT
  • 4 oz FRESH MOZZARELLA CHEESE, cubed

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup RESERVED PASTA WATER
  • 1/4 cup TOMATO, SUN DRIED, PACKED IN OIL
  • 1/2 LEMON, JUICED
  • 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN
  • SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
  • 2 tbsp BASIL, FRESH, (or 1 Tbsp dried)
  • 1 tsp FRESH ROSEMARY, chopped, (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp FRESH PARSLEY, chopped, (or 2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp FRESH THYME, removed from stem, (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 6 tbsp FRESH PARMESAN CHEESE, SHREDDED

1. In a large skillet brown and crumble chicken sausage (casing removed) in 2 tsp olive oil. Place in a large bowl and set aside. In same skillet sauté green beans, corn and onion until golden brown and crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes, adding garlic, salt and pepper the last 2 minutes of cooking time.

2. Toss sautéed vegetables with tomatoes, cooked chicken sausage and turkey bacon. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/4 cup pasta cooking water for sauce.

3. In a small bowl mix sun-dried tomatoes with oil, 2 tsp olive oil, lemon juice, reserved pasta water, salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce and hot cooked pasta over vegetable/meat mixture; toss well to coat.

4. Stir in fresh herbs (add more or less to taste), mozzarella cheese and additional salt and pepper if needed. Top each serving of pasta with 1 Tbsp fresh shredded parmesan cheese.  Serves 6: about 1 1/4 cups pasta (or 1/6 recipe) with 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese.

delizioso!

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 330 calories, 12g fat, 4.5g sat fat, 35mg cholesterol, 38g carb, 7g fiber, 5g sugar, 20g protein

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