~ This incredibly easy Italian Orecchiette with Sausage recipe is jam-crammed with more nutrition (hello, spinach!) and more flavor than you’d ever guess – even we were surprised! It’s simple Italian comfort food that comes together in a snap. Our families LOVE it, and we know yours will, too! ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less •
Here at THK, we’re always searching for new ways to bring you recipes that meet our three standards: They have to be 1) quick and easy, 2) really nutritious, and 3) truly delicious – foods you and your family will genuinely look forward to eating.
That can be a tough combination to find, though, and when we do find inspiration that lives up to our standards, we just love passing it along to you!
Sure, we work hard to bring you those types of recipes every week here on our blog. And sometimes we also serve up inspiration through a round-up post featuring brilliant recipe ideas from other bloggers … or through the hundreds of yummy, healthy recipe ideas from all over the world that we pin every week to our healthy recipe Pinterest Boards.
Today, we’re thrilled to share another source of inspiration that we think you and your family will really enjoy!
We were honored to be asked to preview a new cookbook by certified nutritionist and rising culinary star Kristin Sollenne, and we liked so much of what we saw that we wanted to share her, and her lovely new cookbook, with you! We’ve even got a delicious, super-easy recipe for you to try! (Whoop! Whoop!!)
You’ve likely seen Kristin on TV … maybe on NBC’s TODAY show or as a guest judge on Beat Bobby Flay and Kitchen Casino. If you’re a fan of The Food Network, then you might remember that she was featured as a mentor on season 10 of Food Network Star, and she’s also already slated to be a season final judge for Worst Cooks in America. Wow, right?!?
She’s definitely getting attention for her (healthy!) culinary point of view.
And no wonder! We really think her philosophy resonates with today’s busy, health-minded home cooks.
Her approach to cooking has been touted as a “contemporary food philosophy, approachable cooking tips and re-imagined healthy dishes” focusing on “clean ingredients and keeping it simple.” Amen, sister!
Her resume, her experience as an executive chef and culinary director, and the list of celebrities she’s cooked for (ahem … including Taylor Swift! Gah!!) are all impressive, but what we loved most was her commitment to making home cooking simpler and healthier while not compromising on flavor.
That’s exactly what we strive for every day here at THK, and we’re thrilled to give a big attaboy to someone who is working hard to do the same.
What probably inspired us most of all, though, is the story of exactly why Kristin began to focus her extensive culinary talents specifically on creating nutritious recipes.
After receiving the news that her father had suffered a heart attack, she turned her attention to creating super-healthy meals for his recovery. The experience of helping her father regain his strength while still eating the Italian food he loved was a major influence on the direction of her culinary career – Kristin calls it her “Ah Ha moment.”
Building from that experience, she’s created her first book, Domestic Chic … A Fashionably Fabulous Guide to Cooking & Entertaining by the Seasons. It’s full of more than 100 recipes, centered around specific events, seasons, and party themes. It’s like a fun little roadmap (that even includes decor tips!) through 16 entertaining menus – full of recipes that are just as great when included as part of the overall menu, as they are when they’re enjoyed on their own for quiet family meals.
Sure – you can go all-out and host a Mexican blowout with her full “Fiesta! Fiesta!” menu, or you can make her South of the Border Casserole, all on its own, for dinner this week. Her ideas for a Nautical Party would be so fun for a summer dinner party, but we whipped up the Chicken Satay with Peanut Coconut Sauce for just a regular-old, weeknight family dinner.
No matter which way you use the recipes in Kristin’s book, they’re easy and delicious!
They’re also simple and approachable. And even though she’s a certified nutritionist, she doesn’t overwhelm you with difficult-to-understand nutrition information or hard-to-find ingredients. Glancing through the cookbook for the first time, one of the things we immediately noticed was that the recipes just felt welcoming, doable – not difficult or futzy.
We applaud Kristin’s approach to making everyday cooking … and special events and parties … so easy and enjoyable, so nutritious, and so really delicious. We love what she’s doing to encourage America to eat more healthfully, and to have fun doing it.
That’s why we’re so thrilled to be able to bring you today’s recipe (and … psssst … another recipe next week!) as a sneak peek into her book
, and to offer two lucky readers the chance to win their very own copy of Domestic Chic! (Sorry – giveaway has ended.)
Make this fantastic pasta recipe this week … with savory Italian sausage, tangy parmesan and mellow, sweet onions, it’s a perfect recipe to showcase Kristin’s knack at simplified Italian comfort food. And if you make it with whole-grain pasta and turkey sausage, (plus all that amazing spinach!), you’ll see exactly how terrific she is at making really nutritious meals taste truly fantastic!
Oh! And don’t forget to pop back next week when we showcase another of our favorite recipes from her book … and sign up now to win your very own copy of Domestic Chic, so you can keep right on cooking Kristin’s deliciously nutritious recipes all year long, season by yummy season!
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, preferably turkey sausage (ground or cut into 1/2-inch slices, see note)
- 10 ounces spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- Sea salt to taste (we recommend starting with about 3/4 teaspoon and adjusting to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste (we used 1/4 teaspoon)
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 pound orecchiette, preferably whole-wheat (see note)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- In a large skillet, sauté garlic and onion for 2-3 minutes in olive oil, until lightly browned.
- Add sausage and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until sausage is no longer pink.
- Add spinach and vegetable broth, and let spinach wilt. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, and cook orecchiette until al dente. Drain pasta and add to pan with sausage mixture. Simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Serve with grated parmesan on top. (We also added some shredded parmesan, just for presentation.)
THK Notes and Recommendations:
Sausage: We took Kristin's recommendation to use lower-fat sweet Italian turkey sausage in this recipe, and we encourage you to do the same. Also, we like saving a little step, and simply removing the casings from our Italian sausage links (or purchasing bulk) and just crumbling the sausage as it browns, rather than cutting it into slices. Use whichever method you prefer.
Orecchiette: We're not always able to find whole-wheat or whole-grain orecchiette in our local stores, but we try to use whole-grain pastas whenever we can. If you can't find whole-grain orecchiette, you might try substituting any other small pasta shape that your store offers in a whole-grain variety.
For reheating: If you happen to have leftovers from this recipe, we found that adding just a little bit of additional leftover vegetable broth loosens and remoistens this pasta beautifully during reheating.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 servings Serving Size: about 1 1/3 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 372Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gFiber: 8gSugar: 1g
Nutrition information is provided for this recipe as made with whole wheat pasta and turkey sausage. Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may additionally vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.