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Low-Fat One-Pot Dinner: Turkey Sausage with Tortellini

This is a one-pot dinner that can win you a lot of points. It's easy, inexpensive, fast, and delicious. It's also light, so it won't weigh you down or oblige you spend forever on the treadmill (or mowing the lawn, which works about as well, provided you have a big yard and a push mower). The recipe uses fresh tomatoes for a light taste of summer, Italian flavored turkey sausage rather than the much fattier pork version, and evaporated skim milk rather than heavy cream. And yes, the tortellini dish is great tasting! A smooth, simple Parmesan sauce ties everything together, and a scattering of shredded Parmesan on top of the dish adds an extra layer of nutty, salty cheesiness. Plus, the dish if full of soft, bite-sized little tortellini. What's not to like?

Low-Fat One-Pot Dinner:  Turkey Sausage with Tortellini

Low-Fat Turkey Sausage with Tortellini -- Serves 4

16 ounces of low-fat Italian turkey sausages (I use Gianelli, sweet/mild)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, washed well (no need to halve/chop)

3 cups of boiling/hot water

8-ounce package of dried tortellini (I use cheese, but use what you like)

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper

1/2 teaspoon of dried basil

12-ounce can of evaporated fat-free milk

1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of flour

2-3 tablespoons of white wine (optional)

1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

Handful of fresh basil leaves, washed well and removed from the stems

Heat a large skillet or chef's pan over medium heat until hot and spritz it with olive or canola oil spray. Add the turkey sausages and brown them on all sides for 5-6 minutes. Add the chopped onion and keep cooking it and the sausages for a few minutes. Move the sausages to the side of the pan, leaving the onions in the middle. Add the tomatoes and let them cook a few minutes (they should brown a little on at least one side). Add the boiling water and then stir in the tortellini. Stir in the garlic powder, lemon pepper, and dried basil. Cover the pan and turn the heat down so that the mixture simmers. Let the mixture cook for 10-15 minutes until the tortellini are soft and have absorbed most of the water. Some of the tomatoes also should have popped (you'll hear little pops from the pan as they do). While the mixture is cooking, combine the evaporated milk, grated Parmesan cheese, and flour and whisk until you have a fairly smooth mixture. Remove the lid from the tortellini, mash a few of the unpopped tomatoes, if you'd like, and stir in the evaporated milk/Parmesan cheese mixture. Keep stirring gently for a few minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir in the wine, if you're using it. Turn off the heat, sprinkle on the shredded Parmesan cheese, and, if you'd like, recover the pan until the cheese melts a little. Remove the cover, sprinkle on the basil leaves, and then serve the sausage and tortellini.

Low-Fat Turkey Sausage with Tortellini

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