Fancy and Cheap Supper: Pasta with Sausage, Pears, and Goat Cheese
Need a cheap and easy supper that's also on the fancy side? Opt for pasta made with comparatively inexpensive (well, usually it's less than ground beef) Italian turkey sausage. The turkey sausage pairs nicely with fresh pears, which provide sweetness to the savory dish. Because I'm averse to washing a lot of dishes and want to increase the nutrition of the recipe (well, that's my excuse), I toss in some spinach, which also complements the sausage. I use goat cheese in the dish, which gives a nice, creamy, somewhat unusual flavor. If you don't have any or can't find goat cheese that's a reasonable price, substitute cream cheese. It will taste different but work fine. I also top the pasta with toasted walnuts that provide a nice crunch as well as a flavor that enhances the other components of the dish, especially the sweet, juicy pears. This is an easy supper to make, and it's good enough for a simple company meal. Just add a salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!
Pasta with Sausage, Pears, and Goat Cheese -- Serves 6
1 teaspoon of canola oil
16 ounces of sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth (or use chicken reduced sodium "Better
Than Bullion" reconstituted)
16 ounces of large tubular pasta
4 ripe pears, cored and sliced into 1/4-12 inch pieces
6 cups of spinach, washed well
1 cup of light sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper
1/2 cup of goat cheese crumbles
1 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts
Heat a large skillet or chef's pan over medium high heat and add the oil, swirling it in the pan. Add the turkey sausage and break it up with a spatula. Brown the sausage for about 5 minutes and add the chopped onion. Let the onion cook for about 5 minutes and add the broth. Bring the mixture in the skillet to a boil and stir in the pasta. Let the mixture in the pan cook, stirring it periodically and turning down the heat if necessary, until the pasta is barely soft--about 7 minutes--and the pasta has absorbed most of the broth. Add the pears. Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, until the spinach wilts down. Stir in the sour cream and add the lemon pepper. Stir in the goat cheese crumbles, letting them melt into the sauce a bit. When ready to serve the pasta, sprinkle on the toasted walnuts.