Taking a Brief Break from Baking (Pasta with Sausage, Cannellini Beans & Spinach)

I know, I’ve been baking A LOT lately. As I mentioned before, baking is a wonderful distraction for stressful days. But, just so the world doesn’t think I haven’t been feeding my family nice healthy meals at the same time, it’s time to share a healthy dinner.

Now, I started with a Cooking Light recipe, but as I was assembling my ingredients I ended up making a number of changes. I’m sure the original recipe is tasty and satisfying, but I wanted to work with what I actually had on hand. No extra trips to the grocery store for me.

This was a quick and easy meal to make for a weeknight. I can always get my kids to eat pasta and sausage, and this time the spinach was gobbled up as well. We are still working on a love of tomatoes, but I figure if I keep serving them in various forms eventually they’ll come around. With the tomatoes and spinach, it made such a colorful plate filled with healthy ingredients. I even had some of the leftovers for lunch the next day and they were delicious!

So, in the midst of all the holiday baking, make sure to enjoy some lighter dinner and lunch options… this should offset all of the indulging we are bound to do this time of year.

I’ll be back to baking this weekend as I still need to get a few more cookies ready for the freezer. I think one or two more should do the trick… although I will have to make more of those Peanut Butter Surprises from last week for the men’s poker game that is coming up.
In the midst of all the holiday baking, there are some dinner ideas popping up around the food blogging world. Be sure to check out these blogs for some great dinner ideas:
No one can resist a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup, and Kevin at Closet Cooking has made a really delicious version of it.
I adore mushrooms, so when I saw the recipe for Pan-Sauteed Chicken and Mushrooms with Garlic Spinach at I'm Running to Eat my mouth was watering!
For a change of pace, try going vegetarian one night a week with Love and Olive Oil's Orechiette with Lentils, Onions and Spinach.
sausage farfalle spinach1
I’m sharing the recipe below, but as I mentioned I made a few changes based on what I had on hand, so it’s not really CL’s recipe anymore.

Pasta with Sausage, Cannellini Beans and KaleAdapted from Cooking Light

8 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta)
1 cup of chopped shallots
3 links of Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (used Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset blend – my favorite Italian Seasoning)
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes - drained
1 ounce shaved fresh Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Turkey Sausage, garlic and shallots; cook 10 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Add Italian seasoning and broth to pan. Stir in spinach; cook until it is wilted. Allow to come to a boil and cook down slightly. Stir in pasta and beans.
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Sara said…
Your pasta looks great - sausage makes everything taste good!
That Girl said…
I'm trying to move away from my baking craze lately also.
We love kale, but sadly I don't buy or cook with it as much as I'd like. Thanks for sharing this recipe - looks awesome!
Unknown said…
delish :) once i get baking i can't stop!
Megan said…
this looks really good and I know my family would like it! Thanks for the links also, they sound good too!
I totally appreciate the healthy dinner suggestions, especially this time of year. Great ideas!
Anonymous said…
How do you freeze your cookies, and when you thaw them out, is the texture affected by the freeze?
Patsyk said…
gumna-gal - I put them in freezer containers (tupperware), with a layer of wax paper between them. Once I want to share them, I just pull them out of the freezer and allow to come to room temperature. The texture hasn't been affected in the cookies I've made so far.
Chef E said…
I came to my son's with the intention of exersizing more and getting away from my high calorie cooking...all I have done is eat sweets from all the wonderful bakeries and ethnic places here...but he has stairs...I like that recipe...good combination!
Anonymous said…
Oh... darn.. I hope you will be back soon = ) but I am looking forward to nice healthy meals as well = )
Jo said…
this looks like a wonderful recipe. simple and tasty!
Mary Bergfeld said…
Patsy, the pasta looks terrific. I especially like the use of kale here. I'll bet this was good.
I love a quick healthy dinner especially this time of year.
Stacey Snacks said…
I made orechiette w/ sausage and broccoli last nt, and it was excellent!
Deborah said…
I love all the colors! It sounds delicious!

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