I know its Memorial Day weekend and lots of people are getting their grills ready for cookouts. No exception here! Sausages are often part of traditional outdoor barbecue menus and there’s a reason for that: they taste great on the grill! This past week our Whole Foods subscribers had a very simple recipe on their menus that features chicken sausage used in another way that does not involve grilling. Although you can do this recipe with pre-cooked sausages as well (it does save a bit of time) this week we were treated to these amazingly delicious, made from scratch chicken sausages from the local Whole Foods Market (Bedford MA). Although these grilled sausages would undoubtedly be delicious grilled and served at a cookout, this recipe shows that healthy all natural sausages can be brought inside to the kitchen and made part of quick and easy weeknight meals.
Our Penne with Chicken Sausage recipe (full recipe at bottom of post) uses only a few simple healthy ingredients and served alongside our Kale and Tomato Saute was an easy meal to start the weekend with:
About 30 minutes later, here is the finished result:
My 11 year old son had a friend over when I made this and when I asked him if he liked sausage and THEN the kale (oh gosh did I really just ask an 11 year old boy if he liked kale and expect an answer?) I got somewhat of a blank stare. I served it up and guess what? Except for a few bits of stray tomato, he cleaned his plate. So message here: don’t assume because a meal does not fit the definition of “kid friendly” (ie plain chicken with carrot sticks and grapes and a side of ketchup), kids won’t eat it. Often all it takes is getting them to try it. I realize I did have the advantage of a child that was trying to be polite but once he starting eating and happily said yes to seconds, the politeness factor was out the window. It was just plain yummy.
Also, as I mentioned above, you can do this recipe with pre-cooked sausages but this week we decided to try them with the chicken sausages made fresh daily at Whole Foods. They looked amazing and the end result did not disappoint! We used two different varieties of flavors and these sausages are substantial and hearty, and of course all natural. Just take a look below!
Ready to try this for yourself? Here’s the recipe for our Penne with Chicken Sausage. Enjoy!
2 cups of Penne Pasta
1 to 2 lbs of chicken sausage (or use one of the many all natural & pre-cooked brands)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken broth
About half 5 oz package of baby spinach
1/2 cup cup shredded parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat, add garlic & cook for few minutes. Add sausage to pan and cook over medium and until cooked through (about 10 to 12 minutes). Turn frequently while cooking. (Note: if using pre-cooked sausage, cooking time will be reduced to just warning/browning the sausage in the pan). Add chicken broth, spinach & pasta to the pan & stir until spinach is just wilted. Season with sea salt & black pepper and sprinkle with cheese. NOTE: we used 6 links for this recipe. If you use more links, increase the broth to 3/4 cup so there is enough liquid.
KALE & TOMATO SAUTE:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 container of fresh baby kale (about 5 oz)
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
about 1/4 cup chicken broth or wine (or can use water)
Heat a bit of olive oil in saute pan. Add garlic and cook for minute. Add kale in batches until its wilted and all fits in pan. Pour chicken stock or wine over kale and stir in tomatoes. Simple and delicious!