A Light Meal to Offset the Holiday Eating: Rigatoni with Creamy Sausage Sauce

 Now that the bulk of the heavy eating holidays are done, I thought it might be a good time to share a recipe I made recently.  It's not heavy even though the sauce definitely has a creaminess to it.  I decided to use the ShopRite Imported Roasted Red Peppers that were sent to me as part of the ShopRite Blogger Panel box of goodies for December.

 I loved that the peppers were still whole and had that nice char to them.  I've found some jarred roasted red peppers don't have that and the flavor is just not there.  The dish I added them to comes from Weight Watchers and is filled with lots of good for you ingredients.  You could amp-up the nutrition by using whole wheat pasta, but I opted not to do that as I was serving the whole family and they have not totally accepted the whole wheat pasta just yet.  Occasionally, I can get it past them but not always.

I added some fresh baby spinach, because I had it on hand and it just sounded good.  One of the great things about a dish like this is that you can add just about anything to it and it will work perfectly.  I left out the frozen green peas since my family doesn't care for them in pasta dishes, but I don't think it hurt the dish at all.  It was full of color and was very simple to make - on the table in about 30 minutes.

Just about everyone enjoyed it... as I have mentioned before, My Oldest is going through a picky phase (yes, that can still happen at nearly 9 years old it seems), so he picked out what he liked and left the rest.  I still stand by making only one meal for the family and either you eat it or you don't.  No special meals here.  Eventually, he'll come back around, I think for him it's more of declaring some kind of independence right now.  I'm not worried because he does eat a pretty varied diet in general.

So, this is a tasty recipe that won't immediately go to your hips and may offset some of the indulging you've done recently.  Check the fridge and add what you have and if you have access to a ShopRite store, pick up a bottle of their imported roasted red peppers.  I am sure you'll be pleased with the quality.

 Rigatoni with Creamy Sausage Sauce
Adapted from:  Weight Watchers

 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 ounces raw turkey sausage, casings removed (I used about 3 links of sweet turkey sausage)
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered (use whatever variety you prefer)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
2 cups loosely packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced roasted red bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon back pepper, freshly ground

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook sausage stirring and breaking it into chunks as it cooks.  Once browned - about 3 minutes - remove sausage to a bowl.  Add mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until  until lightly browned and softened.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

In a measuring cup, whisk together flour and milk until smooth; stir into skillet with roasted red peppers, salt and pepper.  Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer until thickened - about 3 minutes.  Stir in the sausage and spinach.  Remove from heat and allow the spinach to wilt.

Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet and stir until pasta is coated with sauce and the ingredients are thoroughly tossed together.

About 2 cups per serving with a Points Plus value of 11.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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That looks just delicious!
Aggie said…
Gosh, this looks great. I love everything in it. I have a hard time finding jarred roasted red peppers I like, those look great. I am SO needing some lighter meals right now.

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