Sunday, February 26, 2012

Autumn Penne

You know those mornings you wake up after being in such a deep sleep that you are convinced that the totally unrealistic and virtually impossible events that floated around your head during the night really happened?

This is a common occurrence for wake up arguing with myself about whether or not I really did become a real live Candy Land character, or met Michael Jackson in space so he could teach me the "authentic" moonwalk.

Yesterday morning was no different. Except the focus on the argument was more about why in the heck, of all things, I chose to talk about the "importance of sour gummy worms" with George Clooney.

I've never met George Clooney but my brain failed to register that for at least the first 8 minutes of my morning. And by failed to register I mean more like refuses to accept.

A girl can dream.

Then spend the beginning of her morning in a perplexed and confused state until the disappointment sets in. No, you didn't magically invent some pill that kills no you can't eat that cupcake for breakfast.


Something else rather disappointing to me...the fact that fall is so far away. Though we could hardly call this thing we've had here in Ohio "winter" I still want it to be over.

I figure...just because it isn't October doesn't mean I can't enjoy a little fall.

This dish does remind me of fall. I know I know, the Brussels sprouts can throw you off but I promise you you barely notice them because they are chopped up. This is a dish that makes me actually LIKE Brussels sprouts. If I had one complaint about this dish it would be that the ragu sauce is a little on the light side. Next time, I would add more crushed tomatoes.

Autumn Penne
Adapted From


1 sweet or hot chicken and pork sausage link, casing removed, crumbled
3/4 lb 93% lean ground turkey
4 tsp olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
10 oz brussels sprouts, weight after outer leaves and stems removed
1 small onion, diced small
1 carrot, peeled and diced small
1 celery stalk, diced small
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
pinch crushed red pepper
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 lb high fiber, low carb or whole wheat pasta


In a large, wide skillet, add sausage and turkey over medium-high heat, breaking up the sausage and turkey as it cooks into small pieces. When completely cooked through; set aside in a bowl.

With a sharp knife, cut the brussels sprouts into thin shreds.

To the skillet, add 2 tsp of oil over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook until golden (do not burn). Add shredded brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and sauté until tender crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes; set aside in another bowl.

To the same skillet, add remaining 2 tsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery, stirring well to coat with oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables turn golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, sausage and turkey, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, salt and fresh pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30 - 40 minutes, or until sauce thickens.

Meanwhile, while sauce is simmering, put a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. Add the pasta to the water 10 minutes before the sauce is done and cook pasta al dente.

Drain and add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the sauce.

Add cooked brussel sprouts, toss and place in a large pasta bowl.

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