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Recipe for Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Red Peppers and Hot Pepper Flakes 12:00 AM

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with sausage and peppersThis recipe started out as something I whipped up when my friend Robin stopped by on a Friday night, and since we both loved the way it turned out, I took a few quick photos. The photos were okay, but not great, so on the weekend I made it again and took some photos when I had natural light. Interestingly enough Robin stopped by that day too, and I fed her this whole wheat spaghetti dish a second time. Both times Robin declared the spaghetti to be *very* good, so here's a super-quick recipe that's good enough to feed your best friend if he or she drops by some night.

Get pasta water starting to boil, then start by cutting one red bell pepper into strips about 1/4 inch thick.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a heavy pan, then saute the red pepper strips for 2 minutes. The peppers will get cooked more later, remove them to a dish.

While you're waiting for the water to come to a boil, measure out 4 servings whole wheat spaghetti. I tend to over-estimate on spaghetti, so I love this little plastic gadget that has holes to show how much you need. I used the Garofalo Whole Wheat Italian Spaghetti that I'm so fond of.

In same pan, squeeze out 3 links hot turkey Italian sausage, then cook the sausage about 10 minutes, breaking apart with the back of the turner as it cooks.

When the sausage is done, push to one side of the pan, then add 2 T more olive oil, followed by 1 T minced garlic and about 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes. Saute the garlic and red pepper about a minute.

Add spaghetti to boiling water and set the timer for 8 minutes. Add red peppers back into the pan with sausage and seasonings, then add 1/2 cup chicken stock and 2 tsp. tomato paste. Let sausage and peppers simmer in the stock while the spaghetti cooks.

Start checking at 8 minutes, and drain the spaghetti as soon as it's just al dente. Save 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain spaghetti into a colander in the sink. Add spaghetti to pan with sausage and peppers, add pasta cooking water, and stir gently to combine ingredients and coat the spaghetti. Serve hot, with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Red Peppers, and Hot Pepper Flakes
(Makes 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

salt for pasta water
4 servings whole wheat spaghetti, about 8 ounces (I use
Garofalo Whole Wheat Italian Spaghetti)
1 T + 2 T olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide
3 links hot turkey Italian sausage, about 12 oz. (or use more sausage, can also use sweet Italian sausage if you prefer)
1 T finely minced garlic
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes (use more or less to taste, but we thought it was plenty hot with 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
freshly grated parmesan cheese to pass at the table

Start a large pot of water boiling for pasta, and add a generous amount of salt (1-2 tsp.) Cut off ends of red bell pepper, cut out seeds and inner membranes, then cut the pepper into strips about 1/4 inch wide. Remove stem and cut pepper ends into strips.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan, add pepper strips and saute 2 minutes. Remove peppers to a dish. Squeeze Italian sausage out of casings into frying pan and cook about 10 minutes, breaking sausage apart with a turner as it cooks.

When sausage is done, push to one side of the pan, add 2 T olive oil, minced garlic, and hot pepper flakes. Saute garlic and hot pepper flakes about 1 minute. By now the pasta water should be vigorously boiling, so add spaghetti, lower heat a little and set timer for 8 minutes.

Add sauteed red bell peppers, 1/2 cup chicken stock, and 2 tsp. tomato paste to the frying pan with sausage, and let simmer while spaghetti is cooking. After 8 minutes, start checking spaghetti, and remove from heat when it's barely done but still al dente in the center (about 9 minutes for me, every time I cook this spaghetti.)

Save 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain spaghetti into a colander in the sink. When it's drained, add spaghetti to the pan with sausage and peppers, add pasta cooking water, and gently stir to mix ingredients and coat the spaghetti with sauce liquid and oil.

Serve hot, with freshly grated parmesan cheese to be added at the table.

South Beach Suggestions:
This pasta dish with whole wheat spaghetti and turkey Italian sausage is a great option for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Serve the spaghetti with a
perfect green salad for a great dinner.

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