A Healthy New Year with Chicken Sausage Pasta


2013-new-year

We all proclaim that we will eat healthier, drink less, exercise more, and overall take better care of ourselves. And by no means am I a stranger to making these promises.

While I like to think of myself as an active, healthy person, there are more times than I can count where I’ve said yes to that extra glass or two of wine or agreed to split a luscious dessert with a friend post dinner (damn you sweet tooth!).

Having promised the extra hours at the gym and less sweets in the past, I set out this year with a new resolution in mind, control.

Now you ask, what on earth is she talking about and how does this relate to food?

In my experience it always ends in failure when you deprive yourself of something completely, but then obviously overindulging is not good either. So this year I have resolved to be in control of what goes in to my body, both from a health and enjoyment perspective.

Savior that glass of wine more, go out on a limb and purchase good quality ingredients to use in multiple dishes, or substitute in healthier ingredients when I can – for example in my recipe below for chicken sausage ragu over wheat pasta.

Don’t worry; I’m not going off the deep end here. I could never give up my glutinous ways but this year I just vow to enjoy the food I eat more.

I’m reminded of when I was in Paris years ago and watched a gorgeous woman sitting at a café outside, savoring her café au lait and her croissant while reading the paper. Our society is all about fast decisions and doing things quickly, yet elsewhere people take their time to enjoy themselves, and their food.

The recipe below for chicken ragu over wheat pasta is my idea of a healthy and flavorful pasta dish. I personally cannot eat wheat pasta unless it has some type of thick sauce and this chicken ragu does the trick!

This dish goes great with a glass of Sangiovese or Pinot Noir. As for the number of glasses you consume, I’ll leave the control of that decision up to you. No judgment coming from this end.

Chicken Sausage Ragu over Wheat Penne Pasta

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced into strips

1 yellow pepper, sliced into strips

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

12 oz. package Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage (I used Trader Joes- already cooked)

3/4 lb. wheat penne pasta cooked al dente

1/2 cup red wine

Grated parmesan cheese

15 oz. jar tomato sauce (tomato basil used here)

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (mine has parsley, basil, oregano)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat add one tablespoon olive oil and the garlic. Cook for a minute, then add in the yellow and red pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until peppers slightly soften. Add in the grape tomatoes and salt and pepper.

photo

2. Cut the chicken sausage in half lengthwise then in pieces. Add in to the vegetables and stir. Turn the heat to high and add in the red wine, mixing around to get the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook until wine reduced and then turn heat to medium

3. Add the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder to the pan and mix. Cook mixture for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and mix in a couple shakes of parmesan cheese.

tomato sauce

4. Place pasta in a serving bowl and pour chicken sausage and pepper sauce over. Top with more parmesan cheese and serve.

Picture 009

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