My diet isn’t gluten-free. So, the fact that I recently happen to keep making gluten-free meals is merely an unintentional consequence of trying to find healthier alternatives to the foods I love. No complaints here! Enter, sausage brown rice pasta!
And this brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s is great! I can’t really tell the difference between this pasta and whole wheat pasta. I’ve also tried Trader Joe’s brown rice and quinoa pasta and I prefer this version (without the quinoa). The brown rice and quinoa pasta easily overcooks, resulting in a slightly gummy texture, and the noodles annoyingly and relentlessly stick to each other. Brown rice pasta all the way!
Although I love to cook, unless I’m in the headspace to want to spend hours on a particular recipe, I don’t like spending too much time in a kitchen. I’m just lazy, really. And since I’ve been getting home from work later recently, I don’t actually have tons of time to spend in the kitchen. Especially when I get home already hungry. And no one wants to see me hangry.
PRO-TIP: since fresh spinach spoils quickly, feel free to substitute the fresh spinach with frozen. Frozen spinach is also cheaper than fresh!
I love my freezer. Keeping it stocked with meat, fruits and vegetables allows me to easily healthify meals, even when I’m low on time. Making pasta healthier by throwing in some frozen peas, for example, is a simple and quick way to add another serving of vegetables to your day. Although I love the contrast of textures between fresh and cooked spinach in this sausage brown rice pasta, frozen spinach is much easier to have on hand. So, feel free to substitute the fresh spinach with frozen spinach if that suits you.
Another time saver? Using seasoned sausage instead of unflavored. Typically, I like to season food myself, but sometimes it’s great to get some help. Adding seasoned sausage to jarred pasta sauce also makes for an easy and flavorful pasta for weeknight supper.
Seasoned sausage and simple vegetables make this healthy pasta dish easy and perfect for make ahead or week night meals!
- 16 oz. (1 package) brown rice pasta (I used Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice Pasta)
- 16 oz. (1 package) Italian seasoned ground turkey
- 1/4-1/2 cup reserved pasta water
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups fresh spinach (loosely packed, roughly chopped or torn)
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil water for pasta and cook according to the package instructions.
- While your pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and onions to the skillet. Stir to coat and cook until translucent.
- While the sausage, season the sausage with salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper). Once the onion is cooked, add the sausage and cook, breaking apart with a spatula, until opaque.
- Once the sausage is cooked, add the peas, most of the spinach, cooked pasta and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water to the skillet. Stir and combine. If the pasta seems too dry, add more pasta water and/or olive oil.
- Turn off the heat, add the rest of the spinach and sprinkle the parmigiano reggiano onto the pasta and stir slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.
- Reheat in a skillet over medium low heat with a bit of extra virgin olive oil (amount depending upon the amount of pasta you're reheating). Once reheated, sprinkle on more parmigiano reggiano and enjoy!