Easy, Cheesy Fusilli with Sausage

Adapted from foodnetwork.com

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-4 (1/2 – 1 lb) mild or spicy Italian sausages, casings removed (see recipe for homemade sausage or vegetarian version below)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (I like Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara sauce or homemade)
  • 3 1/2 cups water (for gluten free pasta, use only 3 cups water)
  • 12 ounces fusilli (for gluten free use Jovial or TInkyada brand)
  • 8 ounces mini mozzarella balls (for a lighter version, use 5 ounces part-skim mozzarella, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup ricotta (either part skim or whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan 
  • Chopped fresh basil leaves, for topping 

Homemade Italian Sausage

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey or pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted, whole fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole caraway seed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Vegetarian version: 

Slice one eggplant into 1 inch slices, brush with olive oil on each side. Place on a cookie sheet and broil until golden brown. Flip and repeat. Cut into cubes and use in place of, or in addition to, sausage. 

  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 6 minutes; Drain fat, if any.
  3. Add the marinara sauce, and 3 1/2 cups water (or 3 cups of water if using GF pasta); bring to a boil. 
  4. Add the pasta, and stir. Partially cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, about 16 minutes.
  5. Stir in mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and eggplant (if using).
  6. Top with fresh basil.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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