Monday, September 14, 2015

Sausage and White Bean Orecchiette

For a long time, pasta was something that my family ate multiple times per week.  As I look back, I realize that we have made a gradual (kind of unintentional) shift away from eating as much pasta and we tend to have more brown rice, quinoa, etc. in our meals alongside our veggies and protein.  That isn't to say that we don't eat pasta - absolutely unfathomable!  We just have fewer meals where pasta is the main component.

This meal is a great way to increase the protein and veggie components of a meal while still including pasta - there is just a smaller proportion of pasta per serving than you may be used to.  Instead, protein-packed white beans take up some of that space, and yummy sausage and veggies take up the rest.  I LOVE this meal, and my kids do, too!


  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 12 oz. sweet Italian sausage (bulk)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange pepper
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added recommended)
  • 1 tsp crushed rosemary (or 1 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (omit and salt to taste if using salted beans)
  • 8 oz. dried orecchiette pasta
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Follow package instructions to cook pasta.  Once prepared, drain and reserve 3/4 cup of cooking water.
  2. While the water boils and pasta cooks: In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Brown sausage, breaking it up as it cooks.  Transfer sausage to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Discard all but 1 Tbsp of the fat left in the skillet and return to medium heat.  Add the onion and pepper and cook until tender, 6-8 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook until just tender and beginning to brown, about 4-6 minutes.  Add beans, rosemary, and salt.  Cook 1-2 minutes more or until beans are heated through.
  4. Stir pasta and reserved sausage into the skillet mixture.  Stir in cooking water, 1 Tbsp at a time to create a sauce of desired consistency.  Season with pepper and top with cheese.

Difficulty: easy
Time: about 35 minutes
Source: Adapted from December 2014 Parents Magazine

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