I’m not even going to apologize for my absence. Or go into this long diatribe about why I was gone. I was in New Zealand on the trip of a freakin’ lifetime and couldn’t tear myself away from the incredible views and epic adventures that were bestowed upon me every single day. For a snippet of my adventures, here’s my Instagram handle!
But I’ll be honest, I missed you guys A TON. Even though it may seem like I let this blog get dusty in the attic without much thought while I’m away, I actually think about it every single day. As fun as my life can be, I miss my daily posts. I miss cooking, to be frank. I miss editing photos and staging dishes like this creamy sausage pesto pasta.
I can’t promise a two week hiatus won’t happen again, so I won’t try to. Instead, i’ll just jump into this dish that completely blew my mind. Actually, the creation of it came the day I returned from a week-long work trip to Miami.
My husband was gone at a Super Bowl event and I was home alone. Since I already missed the eclectic and vibrant city scene of Miami, I decided to watch Chef. (PS: If you haven’t seen it, watch it now). While most are inspired by the cubanos in that movie, I was inspired by the pasta dish he made at the very beginning for Scarlett Johansson’s character.
When he was making it, he had this incredible passion in his eyes. And the moment she took her first bite and had this look of, well, ecstasy was inspiration enough for me to make my own version of it.
Not only is this one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had, I also haven’t had that much fun in the kitchen in a long time. I was dancing, singing and smiling. For some people, that comes daily. For me? I sort of lost it. But it’s finally coming back!
Creamy Sausage Pesto Pasta
Serves about 6.
Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 – 20 minutes
Total time: About 35 minutes
For the pesto:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated, if possible)
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Dashes of salt and pepper
For the sausage/vegetables:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 orange sweet peppers (the smaller peppers), chopped
- 1 red sweet pepper, chopped
- 2 cups crumbled turkey sausage (I love these Jimmy Dean crumbles)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
For the pasta:
- 1 pound linguine or fettuccine pasta
- Fresh basil as garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and add a dash of salt. Add the noodles and cook, on medium high heat, until al-dente, about 7 – 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
- To make the pesto, add everything into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Reserve 3/4 cup for this recipe and save the rest for later.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and heat until slightly translucent, about 2- 4 minutes. Mix in the chopped peppers and cook until softened, another 3 minutes. Mix in the sausage and cook, over medium heat, until golden brown. Mix in the pesto, pasta and cherry tomatoes.
- Heat another 2 – 3 minutes until everything is heated through. Serve with a dusting of fresh parmesan and basil leaves.
Nutritional information per serving (about 1/2 cup):
Fat: 22.6 grams
Carbohydrates: 60 grams
Fiber: 7.1 grams
Protein: 20 grams
Weight Watchers Points: