Tomato and Sausage Pasta

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Today’s post comes from Emily of fooding with Emily, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Red Pen Mama, where I talk about motivation.

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I have quite the hate-hate relationships with diets.  I hate going on them.  I hate fat-free, ill tasting dishes.  I love to exercise (OK, I hate getting up, making myself go to the gym, I’m OK when I get there, I hate sweating, I hate feeling exhausted, but when I’m all done I LOVE IT – so I only ‘love’ exercising when I’m done). Trying to be healthy means exercising and eating healthy(er). I’ve had my fair share of yo-yo diets and none of them sticking.  But the one thing that has stuck is eating well and just move.  Indulge from time to time.  I will eat my cake! Just not every day.  I will have chocolate! Just not every day.  I will eat my brussel sprouts! I actually really like brussel sprouts.  Like a lot. Probably more than one should.  If I had to pick between chocolate and the sprouts, I’d pick sprouts hand down.  I know, I’m weird.  I would trade you my chocolate cake for your brussel sprouts and feel like I was the winner of that trade.

I’ve found this one recipe that is not only on the healthier side, but it’s QUICK. I love cooking, but sometimes when I am just tired on a Tuesday night, I’d rather pick up the phone and order a pizza. This recipe is my new saving grace.  It’s nothing terribly fancy so it will please most picky eaters.  It’s also tasty.  I can’t get enough of it.  I found it on Cooking Light and was blown away.  That magazine has had it’s fair share of ‘meh’ in my experience.  But since I have subscribed last year, I’ve been SOLD. And I’m sold again with this dish.

My only substitution was instead of using fresh tomatoes, i used canned diced tomatoes with some oregano and basil seasoning.  I cut corners where I see fit.  I hate chopping tomatoes.

You’ll need:

8 ounces uncooked penne
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup vertically sliced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes, chopped
6 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage and onion to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and basil.

My only problem with this recipe is that I want to eat and eat and eat until it’s all gone.  Stupid diets!