I do not like whole wheat pasta, but it’s really much better for you. I’m trying to incorporate wheat pasta into our diet. I mean, when you grow up eating what you’re familiar with change is hard. Well, I’ve been experimenting with it and found that if I mix in some basil pesto, I like it so much more.
Steve’s turned me on to smoked turkey sausage and I just love it. It has great flavor and is leaner meat which translates to healthier for you. So anyway I’ve come up with a recipe that is definitely a “roller coaster for your taste buds”.
I’m taking a lot of help from the grocery store with ingredients that are ready-to-use for this dish. This is my Fusilli With Grilled Smoked Turkey Sausage.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 large rondeau pan (deep-sided frying/braising pan), indoor grill-pan, 4 medium-size bowls, large plate, 1 (6-quart) saucepot, colander spoon (colander), chef’s knife, non-stick cooking spray
1 (14-ounce) package of Jenny-O Kielbasa hardwood (fully-cooked) smoked sausage, grilled and sliced on the bias
1 (8-ounce) package of Birds Eye frozen Steamfresh asparagus spears, thawed, cut into 2-inch pieces on the bias
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red onion, small dice
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 yellow bell pepper, 2-inch dice
2 heaping cups of (1 to 2 medium-size butternut squash) , peeled seeded and cut into a 2-inch dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 pint of San Marzano grape tomatoes, halved (substitute grape tomatoes)
2 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
1 (7-ounce) container of store-bought fresh basil pesto
1 pound of whole wheat Fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, fine chopped for garnish
Start by preheating an indoor grill-pan over medium-high heat. Liberally spray with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the smoked sausage links on the grill. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side allowing for some really nice grill marks to appear. Transfer to a large plate to cool down enough before slicing on the bias. Transfer to a bowl then set aside.
Moving forward, in a large preheated rondeau (deep-sided frying/braising pan) over medium heat add olive oil and red pepper flakes. Next, add the diced red onion, stirring frequently, cook until soft and translucent 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the diced yellow bell peppers, stirring occasionally, cook until the peppers become tender another 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the diced butternut squash Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and minced garlic. Stirring frequently, cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring up to a bubble, simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until squash is just fork tender.
Next, add the sliced smoked sausage, continue to cook over medium heat, frequently stirring, allowing the sliced sausage to heat through, another 5 to 7 minutes. Add the halved grape tomatoes and asparagus tips. stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low.
In the meantime, in a large pot of salted boiling water drop the pasta. Stirring occasionally, cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the pesto to the hot pasta stir to combine.
Tip: Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking liquid. If needed add a tablespoon at a time to thin out the pesto until it reaches the consistency of your choosing.
To serve, add two good ladles full of the Fusilli with basil pesto into a porcelain serving bowl. Ladle the smoked sausage mixture over the top. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot. There you have it, my Fusilli With Grilled Smoked Turkey Sausage.