The hearty pasta meal can be thicker like a stew or thinner and soup-like, cook’s pleasure! Packed with flavorful Italian sausage, loads of veggies, and a finish of Parmesan deliver a light yet comforting bowl of colorful goodness.
Well, hello. Merry Christmas a bit belated. We pulled the girls a day early from school so that we could beat the winter weather to the area and make it to central Illinois before things got dicey. Mission accomplished and only mild disappointment in missing their holiday parties at school. We bummed around my in-laws for a few days before reporting back to Michigan on Christmas Eve for Santa’s arrival. The trip back was a bit terrible the last 45 miles, but we poked along and made it before dark.
Christmas morning was most magical with lots of gifts under the tree for the girls. My parents made the trip over from Chicago and we enjoyed candy cane pancakes with peppermint whipped cream and mimosas before things turned south. My dad collapsed at my house, 911 was called, and he was admitted to ICU for a massive GI bleed related to an ulcer. My mom and I were at the hospital with him for most of the late afternoon and early evening but it was truly a Christmas miracle to see his care, the top-notch medical staff at work with a rapid diagnosis, treatment, and procedure to resolve the bleed. At one point, they felt the prognosis was much more serious, but we are just incredibly grateful for it all and to have him safe and on the mend.
And, back to work tomorrow! It was kind of a Christmas whirlwind. Today was somewhat back to the grind of meal planning, laundry, and other productive things.
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Comfort food lovers, this one is for you! Winter is most definitely here and if you’re anywhere near the Midwest, you’ve been lucky to see double digit temperatures. Double digits ABOVE zero, that is. Woof!
- One pot delights are always in-season and always welcome in my kitchen. Cooked all in a single Dutch oven or stock pot, this recipe is an easy prep and ingredients can even be chopped ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal!
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Mirepoix: the trifecta of onion, celery, and carrot cooked in a bit of fat – olive oil as the case in this recipe. This combination is traditionally French but has heavily influenced other cuisines, such as Cajun and Creole – and in this recipe, Italian. Offering beautiful colors, tempting aromas, and good health, it is a classic mixture for many reasons.
- Turkey Italian Sausage: big flavors that you know in love from a pork variety, the turkey is just as good with a lighter fare. Offering up plenty of sodium, a low sodium broth and omitting the salt is a good place to start when using Italian sausage, especially poultry varieties that tend to be a bit higher in sodium.
- Feel free to go vegetarian on this one by using a vegetarian crumble alternative or skip the meal altogether. You can increase the pasta by 1/3 cup (2 oz) to maintain a similar consistency, or alternatively, you can add a third can of beans, or even double up on the vegetables.
- Fiber: A good source of fiber is a food with more than 5 grams per serving. With over 10 grams of fiber per serving, this recipe is an excellent source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble.
- Protein: Offering over 30 grams of protein with thanks to both the meat and the beans, this Pasta Fazool offers lots of staying power.
STORAGE AND TIPS
- Store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- The pasta will continue to absorb the broth so you may want or need to add additional broth to leftovers to achieve a consistency to that of the day made.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 5 sweet Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed (~19.5 oz)
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- 8 oz (1 1/3 cups) uncooked ditalini or other small pasta shape
- 3 cups packed kale, roughly chopped
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat until hot; add the sausage and cook until non longer pink, breaking into a crumble as it cooks, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery; season with black pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
- Add thyme, beans, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, broth, and rind (if using). Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. If desired, mash some of the beans against the side of the pot to make for a creamier soup.
- Stir in the pasta and continue to simmer until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the kale and cook for 1 minute or until tender and bright green. Serve with additional grated parmesan, if desired.
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking for Keeps
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 recipe (scant 2 cups)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 11.0gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 869mgCarbohydrates: 61.7gFiber: 10.3gSugar: 6.2gProtein: 31.8g
Weekly Menu: December 26th – 30th
- Monday: tacos with guacamole
- Tuesday: Chili with cornbread
- Wednesday: Instant Pot Italian Beef
- Thursday: Sweet and Spicy Gochujang Noodles
- Friday: out for a birthday party