Rotini with Turkey Sausage, Mushrooms, and Peas
Back in 2001 when I had my first son, I would often sit in the living room feeding or rocking him to sleep. I almost always had Food Network on, because it was either that or soap operas. I found Food Network to be much more interesting! 😉 Much of my passion for cooking came from watching so many of those early Food Network shows, such as Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals, Barefoot Contessa, or Giada Di Laurentiis’ Every Day Italian. I fell in love with one of Giada’s pasta dishes because of it’s simplicity, and it was full of ingredients that I loved. It also lasted a few days, which was so necessary since I had a newborn! This Rotini with Turkey Sausage, Mushrooms, and Peas is my version of Giada’s dish. I use whole wheat rotini pasta, with sweet Italian turkey sausage, cremini mushrooms, and peas. It’s topped with a generous dose of parmesan. It’s an old stand-by for me that I’m happy to make again and again. 🙂
I’ve purchased two of Giada’s cookbooks, and her recipes are always straight forward and easy to follow. This one is especially simple, because there’s no sauce to assemble. It’s just some of the pasta cooking water and extra virgin olive oil. You can almost put together in your sleep! 😀
I love the flavor of turkey sausage, but you can use whatever your favorite may be. There are so many great varieties, you really can’t go wrong. The mushrooms add a meaty, earthiness, and the peas add a nice pop of color and freshness. Pasta always needs parmesan, so grate some up, or use some nice big shavings of it. I always prefer the shavings!
I like to use about 1/3 cup of the pasta water. This serves two purposes: (1) the starch in the water helps the sauce or olive oil cling to the pasta, while adding body, and (2) the water keeps the pasta moist so you don’t have to use too much olive oil. I like just enough olive oil. Less is more for me. 😉
This dish is so homey and comforting, and it’s good, clean eating. It’s great for a crowd, or when you want leftovers. This is a dish I never tire of, and it’s very family friendly. We all need a dose of simple, and this is definitely one of those things! 🙂
- (1) 13 ounce box whole wheat rotini pasta
- (1) lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed (such as Jennie-O or Diestel)
- 16 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas (thaw the peas slightly if frozen)
- ⅓ cup of the pasta cooking water
- ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- grated or shaved parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Prepare pasta according to package directions, reserving ⅓ cup of the cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage, and break up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Set aside. Drain the grease.
- In the same pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the peas and cook together 3 minutes longer. Add the turkey sausage to the pan and cook over low heat. Add the cooked pasta, pasta water, and ¼ cup of the olive oil and stir until combined. Add more olive oil if the pasta seems dry. Serve the pasta with the parmesan cheese.
If the pasta leftovers are a bit dry, simply add a bit more olive oil.
Adapted from Giada Di Laurentiis' Farfalle with Turkey Sausage, Peas, and Mushrooms