Monday, October 19, 2009

Three-Cheese Baked Penne

I made this pasta dish from Cooking Light on Friday night before we went bowling for Corey's birthday, and it's always a big hit with him. He likes the fact that it has a "kick" to it - courtesy of red pepper flakes and green bell peppers. He also likes the creamy texture that the goat cheese lends to this dish. This dish has less than 350 calories per serving, despite tasting very rich. This is due to the inclusion of goat cheese for depth of flavor. This meal was also on the table in less than one hour.

Recipe Notes
I had hot Italian turkey sausage on hand instead of the sweet turkey sausage called for in the recipe. If you use hot Italian turkey sausage, you can omit the crushed red pepper flakes - the spiciness of the sausage gives plenty of heat when accompanied by the bell peppers.

Nutritional Information (per serving - makes 6 servings of approx. 1-1/4 c. each)
326 calories - 10.9 g. fat - 20.8 g. protein - 4.9 g. fiber

  • 2-1/2 c. uncooked penne (I like "mezze penne" which are like miniature penne - look for them at the grocery store on the pasta aisle!)
  • 2 links sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 c. finely-chopped green bell pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 10 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dash of salt
  • 8-oz. can garlic and herb tomato sauce
  • 3/4 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 c. (2 oz) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. fresh grated Parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and keep warm.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet (coated with cooking spray) over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage and add sausage to pan. Cook two minutes, stirring to crumble.

4. Add bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and dried Italian seasoning to skillet. Saute six minutes or until bell pepper is tender.

5. Stir in canned tomato sauce. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

6. Add goat cheese and mozzarella cheese to pasta, stirring to coat as cheese melts. Add sauce to pan and stir until well combined.

7. Turn pasta mixture into a 2-qt. glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes or until top is bubbly and brown. Serve immediately.

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