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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

red pepper pasta


For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I am training for a half marathon in March. This week is my second highest mileage week of training so I am really feeling the lack of energy! With 19 miles this week, I have been craving pasta {I feel like I could probably eat a pound myself!} Two of my favorite ingredients to combine with pasta dishes are tomatoes and spinach. There are so many ways to incorporate vegetables into pasta dishes and I had a lot of fun experimenting with this recipe! Instead of a traditional red sauce or pesto sauce, I used another favorite sauce: pepper sauce! This is such a simple sauce to try and I have found so many uses for it. 

As you may know, I use piquillo peppers a lot in my recipes. They are a sweet pepper with no heat and I have found them at my grocery store packed in water, which is a huge plus! I love roasted red peppers, but they always seem to come packed in oil, which isn't the healthiest way to eat a pepper! If you can't find piquillo peppers at your store, you can definitely use roasted red peppers, I would just recommend draining and rinsing them first. 

Another one of my favorite additions to a pasta dish is chicken sausage. I am not a huge fan of meat, but Richard LOVES meat. **As a side note, I have been cooking a lot of vegetarian dishes as of late: tofu, kale, chickpeas, name it. Richard told me last week before I headed to the grocery store that he thought he was going to turn into a vegetable! haha I sometimes get on a kick and I just can't stop myself! So we are having slightly more meat in our weekly menu ;)** Anyways, chicken sausage is one meat I can tolerate, and the spinach and feta chicken sausage mixture is the perfect compliment to this pasta dish!

Red Pepper Pasta
12 ounces canned piquillo or roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces penne pasta 
12 ounces fully cooked spinach & feta chicken sausage, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh spinach
1/3 cup feta cheese {I used fat free} 
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by cooking the pasta according to package directions; reserve up to 1/2 cup cooking water to thin the sauce if needed. Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat; add the bite-sized sausages and cook until brown on each side, about 10 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to clean plate and set aside. In the same skillet, add the onion and garlic; saute for about 3-4 minutes. Add the piquillo or roasted red peppers to the onion and garlic mixture, stir to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes, just to warm the peppers. Transfer pepper mixture to blender and pulse until completely combined and smooth. In the same skillet, turn down the heat to medium-low; heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the halved cherry tomatoes. Allow to cook for a minute or two and transfer the pepper sauce to the skillet; stir to combine. Stir in the pasta and spinach followed by the cooked chicken sausage. Allow to cook another 1-2 minutes just to allow the spinach to begin to wilt. Garnish with feta cheese. 

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful day!


  1. I haven't tried pepper sauce but I think it tastes great. I'm always into pesto sauce and it's my favorite but I want to give this a try :)

    I'm now following you on bloglovin. Hope you'll do the same :)

    Looking forward to see more of your posts!
    Have a nice day, Rachel! :)


    1. Let me know how you like it! Pesto is also my favorite, but this is a close second :) I will definitely check you out on Bloglovin! Thanks so much for dropping by, Shaira! xo

  2. Looks delicious! I love pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach on mine. It's delicious. I really admire you, I don't know how you are training in the cold. I'm such a cold-phobic.

    1. Thanks, Dagmara! Saturday's run definitely made me question my sanity, it was freezing!! xo

  3. You are absolutely darling! Looks like you are an amazing cook!
    xoxo, Vanessa

    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa! You are too sweet! xo

  4. Wow this looks so delish! Thanks for sharing! :) xo Vivian

    1. Thank you so much, Vivian! It's a quick weeknight dinner! Thanks for stopping by :) xo


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