Monday, May 11, 2009

Blush & Bashful Tomato Sausage Pasta

The sauce gets it's name "blush", because the mixture of the tomatoes and the "cream" turn the sauce a "blush" pinkish color. Or...if you're a Steel Magnolias fan [as you should be] you know where "blush & bashful" just means "pink & pink" or like it's been sprayed down with Pepto Bismol. Although, really, that doesn't make this dish sound appealing, does it?

This is a remake of a dish that is popular in this house. How did I remake it? I made it a lot healthier. The original dish uses mild (or sweet if you prefer) Italian sausage and heavy cream. This dish, with only a fraction of the calories, uses Turkey sausage and Shirley J cream sauce base.

My sneaky healthy substitutions were a huge success. My husband just ate a man-sized portion of this for dinner and didn't even notice a difference. Ha!

I found this new turkey sausage at the store the other day: Roasted tomato & garlic turkey sausage. Um, hello---so perfect for this dish. It was a Jennie-O product, but it must be new, because it isn't linked on their site. If you haven't yet discovered how awesome turkey is, then it is time to revisit it! My kids eat turkey dogs, turkey sausage, ground turkey, etc. all in place of where you would regularly use higher fat, less healthier options (mystery meat hot dogs, ground beef, questionable sausage...).

Blush & Bashful Tomato Sausage Pasta

  • 1 (12 oz) pkg. bow tie pasta (I use whole wheat, you can use whatever)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 lb. (or package) turkey sausage (mild, sweet or roasted tomato & garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 oz. or 2 14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups Shirley J cream sauce base---made with 1 c. base to 1 1/2 c. water ratio
  • salt
  • 3 T. fresh minced parsley
  1. Make pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and red pepper flakes. (I remove casings, and keep it into chunks, but you can crumble if you'd like.) Cook until evenly browned, and sausage is cooked through. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender.
  3. Stir in (drained) tomatoes, Shirley J cream sauce, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Stir cooked, drained pasta into sauce, and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.
  5. Serve topped with fresh Parmesan cheese, if desired.

**This dish can also be made without the sausage! A great meat-free, kid friendly dish. Either way it's tasty! (Without the sausage, of course, it's called Blush & Bashful Tomato Pasta. Noted.)

Things I used today:
Shirley J cream sauce base
canned tomatoes
Turkey sausage

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