The changes I made to this recipe were to bring it closer to Zone macros (30% protein, 25-30% fat, 40-50% carbs) and MyPlate recommendations (25% protein, 25% starch, 50% vegetables). Seasoning in the hot Italian chicken sausage meant I needed to reduce the 2 tsp salt originally added. I reduced the amount of pasta from 3 oz per serving to 2 oz per serving and used Barilla Protein Plus pasta. It has more protein and fiber than standard pasta, but unlike chickpea and lentil pasta, the texture is almost indistinguishable from 100% semolina pasta. My pasta did cook past al dente before the water had evaporated as much as I would have liked. Instead of reducing the water in the recipe to 4 cups, I should have taken it all the way down to 3.5 (or even 3.25) cups.
The original recipe already included two 84-gram servings of vegetables per serving, but I added greens because you can never get enough greens. I also thought the finished dish needed more tomatoes—more brightness and acid. I added another 4 oz of fresh tomatoes to my room temperature next day leftovers and thought it was perfect.
Nutritional Info: (without extra tomatoes)
435 calories, 34g protein, 50g carbs, 13g fat, 6.5 g fiber —Cara Powers
What You'll Need
Sprouts Bulk Hot Italian Chicken Sausage
Avocado Oil or EVOO
Barilla Protein Plus Penne
Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)
yellow onion sliced thin
minced garlic (heaping teaspoons)
red pepper flakes
fresh basil (plus more for garnish)
Trader Joe's Organic Power to the Greens
cherry tomatoes (optional)
Add pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper flake, salt, black pepper, water and basil to sausage. Increase heat to high, and stir pretty constantly until pasta is al dente and/or water has nearly evaporated.
Remove basil sprigs. Add greens and stir until wilted.
Divide into four portions and serve with Parmesan and fresh basil and more fresh cherry tomatoes (if desired).